Armenia

Active Projects: 4

GDP (current US$): 10.54 billion (2016)

Population: 2.92 million (2016)

Major Partners

World Bank; Government of Armenia; European Union (EU); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 

INFORM Risk Rating: 3.6

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.

Context

Natural Hazard Risk

Armenia faces major natural hazard risk from earthquakes, floods, and landslides, with additional risk from hail and drought. More than 80 percent of Armenians are at risk of exposure to catastrophic events. Located in the high activity Alps-Himalaya seismic zone, the country has historically been prone to earthquakes, including the devastating 1988 Spitak earthquake which killed over 25,000 people. These events have the potential to cause significant damage. An earthquake which occurs once every 250 years could affect 73 percent of the country's GDP.  

Flooding also poses serious dangers, threatening half of the country’s territory in medium-altitude mountainous areas. Flooding in 2010 caused an estimated $10 million in damage, and a once every quarter century event could affect six percent or more of the country's GDP. 

Government Priorities

The Government of Armenia increasingly recognizes disaster risk management (DRM) as an important tool for the country’s development. In the two decades since the Spitak earthquake, the government has passed significant legislation to improve risk reduction and emergency management systems, such as the 2008 Law on Prevention of Emergency Situations. In 2010, the government established a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which aims to coordinate and consolidate DRM efforts. In 2012, it developed a National Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction, along with an action plan.  

To advance its DRM agenda, government priorities include: 

  • Developing a comprehensive approach to DRM; 
  • Strengthening the seismic resilience of school buildings; and, 
  • Implementing risk financing mechanisms.
GFDRR progress to date

Since 2008, GFDRR-supported capacity building, knowledge sharing, and technical assistance has helped the Government of Armenia make strides in DRM. Early activities helped the Government of Armenia analyze natural hazard risk; assess the appropriateness of existing systems, mechanisms, and institutional capacities; and make recommendations for developing a comprehensive national disaster reduction and preparedness agenda. GFDRR-supported activities resulted in a comprehensive report on disaster risk reduction and emergency management in Armenia, among other outputs. These activities helped inform World Bank projects in Armenia, including the rehabilitation of roads in central areas. 

An ongoing technical assessment of school safety has informed $110 million in investments from the national government, $88.5 million from the Asian Development Bank, and a potential $88.5 million from the European Investment Bank.  Related activities are helping to enhance disaster risk reduction through retrofitted critical infrastructure and a safe schools program. 

Additional ongoing efforts are helping the Government of Armenia further advance disaster resilience. These include: 

  • Improving disaster risk information through updated probabilistic seismic hazard maps;  
  • Strengthening disaster preparedness, particularly at the local level; and,  
  • Improving the understanding of fiscal disaster risks and risk financing options. 

Many activities are in the early stages, and GFDRR anticipates continued demand for support from the Government of Armenia. 

 

Projects Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Project Description
Strengthening Armenia's National Disaster Risk Management Program
$1,250,000 06/2015 - 06/2018

The objective of the grant is to support the Government of Armenia to build a comprehensive disaster risk management (DRM) program through implementing selected key foundational activities which are required to advance disaster resilience. The activities supported under this project include estalishing a national DRM system with the necessary disaster risk information, awareness and capacities to reduce the existing and future risks, and development of a strategy for financial resilience.

Supporting School Safety in Armenia
$670,000 09/2015 - 12/2017

The objective of the project is to support the Government of Armenia in reviewing, updating, and implementing its School Safety program. This will be achieved by undertaking the following activities: (i) undertaking detailed engineering designs for retrofitting schools facilities; (ii) awareness campaigns at schools and in the neighboring communities on seismic risk; (iii) conducting training programs for builders (construction sector representatives) for retrofitting techniques; and (iv) preparation of comprehensive school retrofitting guidelines and development of contingency plans for the education sector.

Vulnerability Assesment of Public Facilities in Armenia
$200,677 06/2013 - 06/2016

The objective of the proposed project is to assess vulnerability of selected key public facilities and prioritize these for seismic risk mitigation investments, including for the retrofitting. The planned activities will directly support the country's priorities in disaster risk reduction.

Strengthening Resilient Urban Planning in Armenia
$100,000 12/2014 - 12/2016

The project seeks to enhance the awareness and capacity of the Yerevan Municipality to plan and design risk-informed urban development and implement resilience building measures. The project intends to achieve the development objective through the following activities: (i) preparation of a technical manual that provides guidelines on the integration of disaster risk reduction in urban planning and development practices, (II) conducting training on using the manual; and (iii) preparing an action plan for implementation of the manual.

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Lifeline Road Network Improvement Additional Financing $40 million | Start date: 2016-1 (ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve access of rural communities to markets and services through upgrading of selected lifeline roads, and to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Transport and Communication to manage the lifeline road network.