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Official News

Friday, 9 February 2018

Karen Karapetyan: “We have no right to think things over too long at the Ministry of Emergency Situations”

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Armenia to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

Minister of Emergency Situations David Tonoyan first presented the Ministry’s equipment with modern machinery and devices, including the ones that the Ministry acquired last year.

Noting that he was impressed with the work done by the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Karen Karapetyan stated in part, “The refurbishment effort is impressive. We need to thank our partners for their support. The Minister also reported on the current level of technical readiness of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, which is really impressive.”

David Tonoyan reported that in 2017, the Ministry implemented its activities based on the vision of Armenia’s National Disaster Risk Management Strategy and the 2017-2022 Government Program. In 2018, the Ministry of Emergency Situations will endeavor to reduce the risk of natural and man-made disasters, prevent and eliminate consequences, which will contribute to the sustainable development of the country as a constituent element of security.

The legal framework improvement campaign shall be continued throughout the year to unify the laws in a single Code, as well as to improve and elaborate the sub-legislative acts resulting from them.

The Minister advised that in connection with the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Spitak Earthquake Victims Commemoration Day, a large-scale event will be held, referred to as “Day of Resistance to Disasters” or “Challenging Armenia,” which will feature nationwide drills, conferences, a field cuisine international contest and a commemoration ceremony.

David Tonoyan assured that the operational units of the Ministry of Emergency Situations had been brought to a high level of combat readiness in the run-up to a series of events, including the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia, the 2800th anniversary of Erebuni-Yerevan and the Francophonie Summit to be held this year in Armenia.

It was reported that the centralized alarm center of the 911 service by the National Center for Crisis Management of the Rescue Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations received 2,110,000 calls in 2017; the average number of daily calls was 5780, with 14,619 emergencies registered in Armenia.

According to the Minister, the United Nations Development Program’s Global Environment Facility will invest USD 275,000 with a view to collecting, classifying, labeling, packaging, safe storing and eliminating all hazardous chemicals left over in Soviet-era buildings and facilities, as well as at the Nubarashen Pesticide Cemetery.

David Tonoyan advised that with a view to developing wildfire responsive capacity, the MIS shall collaborate with the ministries of Agriculture and Nature Protection to develop a joint fire prevention plan, preventive systems, hold joint drills and exercises. Cooperation with forestry organizations and communities will be strengthened to prevent the occurrence and spread of fires in vegetative and forested areas.

With reference to international cooperation, the Minister informed that the Russian side provided USD 16 million-worth assistance to refurbish the Armenian-Russian Regional Center for Humanitarian Response with modern rescue equipment and modernize the fire-rescue resources. The Russian supplies will be continued in 2018.

The Japanese government has provided a total of USD15 million worth new and up-to-date 36 fire engines, 3 carriages and one mobile workshop. In addition, the Ministry of Emergency Situations will get 10 quick response vehicles worth USD 2 million.

It was also reported that additional IP networks of digital telephony 911, 112, 101 were built to provide for three-level protection of access to 911, 112 and 101 phone numbers. A pilot IP call center has been introduced in the 911 Service of the National Crisis Management Center.

In order to create a centralized public awareness system, modern community awareness-raising equipment is being installed in rural communities throughout the country.

Karen Karapetyan stressed the need for continued improvement of the applicable legislative framework, seismic safety, car gas cylinders’ safety standards, training of specialists in the field of emergency situations, etc.

David Tonoyan noted that they are guided by the priorities of the Government Program 2017-2022. The Minister reported that the drafting of a legislative package and a government decree on the examination and ensuring technical safety of automobile gas cylinders has already been completed and will be presented to the government for discussion soon.

Summing up the consultation, Karen Karapetyan underscored: “I believe 2018 to be a very important milestone. What are the Government’s macroeconomic targets? What are the challenges faced by government? We will have economic achievements in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, which will give us the ground and right to make long-term, fundamental reforms in our country that imply a long horizon and provide a solid basis for growth. All crises are due to the short horizon. We have no right to think things over too long at the Ministry of Emergency Situations. We need to know exactly where we go, how we go, and what task we set every year.”

July 2022