MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2 October 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a €66.1 (equivalent to $72.3 million) million loan as additional financing to support the Government of Armenia in building earthquake-resilient schools and strengthening its capacity for seismic disaster risk management. 

In September 2015, ADB approved a $88.5 million loan for the Seismic Safety Improvement Program (SSIP) to reconstruct/retrofit 46 schools to meet internationally accepted seismic safety standards. The additional financing will support ongoing government efforts to rebuild and strengthen school buildings to higher earthquake-resistant standards and to further improve the government’s emergency preparedness and response systems. 

“Armenia is located in a seismically active region and is prone to earthquakes that can cause significant human suffering and economic losses,” said ADB Senior Project Officer in Armenia Gohar Mousaelyan. “The devastating Spitak earthquake in 1988 killed 25,000 people, including 6,000 school children, and left 517,000 people homeless. The additional financing reaffirms our commitment to supporting the government in implementing its School Strengthening and Renovation Program to make schools safer and more resilient.” 

Since 2020, Armenia has experienced 14 earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above, and more than 2,700 earthquakes of magnitude less than 5. The country has about 1,400 schools and around 431 of them require strengthening and reconstruction at an estimated cost of $1.7 billion.

Once completed, the assistance program will benefit around 58,700 students, teachers, and other staff, as well as over 87,000 residents living near the target schools, who will have access to improved temporary shelters during earthquakes. 

ADB is one of Armenia’s largest multilateral development partners. Since 2005, the bank has provided financial assistance worth more than $1.6 billion, supporting government priorities including in transport, energy, water, and urban infrastructure. In the private sector, ADB supports utilities and infrastructure, financial institutions, and agribusiness.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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