Driven by the climate change, deforestation and other phenomena, natural disasters and emergency situations are tending to become more intense in scale and frequency across the globe, at a pace much faster than humanity can successfully cope with. According to the United Nations, there were 373 natural disasters that killed 296,800 people over the course of 2010. The UN reported that it is important to plan for worse scenarios in the years to come, as the number of people affected by climate-related disasters is projected to rise by 54 percent by 2015, threatening to overwhelm emergency response and humanitarian aid systems.
Armenia is an earthquake-prone country, at the same time 98 percent of the country is at risk of drought and 31 percent of flooding. Armenia suffers an average of 33 million USD in damages from natural disasters each year, and landslides and mudflows are among the most devastating of these disasters.
The level of development of Armenia's disaster risk reduction system was discussed today at a workshop organized jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and the RoA Ministry of Emergency Situations. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Arthur Baghdasaryan, Secretary of the RoA National Security Council, Armen Yeritsyan, Minister of Emergency Situations, and Karen Karapetyan, Mayor of Yerevan welcomed the participants of the workshop.
Acknowledging that disaster risk reduction cannot be addressed without joint efforts of the Government of Armenia, international organizations, and the civil society, Dafina Gercheva reiterated the readiness of the UNDP to continue its support and cooperation with Ministry of Emergency Situations and other stakeholders.
During the workshop disaster risk reduction development issues and challenges were presented and discussed, including the functioning of "ARNAP" National Platform (National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction), implementation and decentralization of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), involvement of local-level and multi-sectoral stakeholders in the disaster risk reduction process.
During the event the Mayor of Yerevan signed up to the 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready" pledging to commit the city of Yerevan to ten essentials which make cities resilient.
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