Since 2015, ADB has been supporting the Government of Armenia in implementing the Seismic Safety Improvement Program to reconstruct 46 schools to meet MSK 9 (IX)standards – a key international seismic safety quality metric under ADB’s program. The program supports the implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction by improving schools’ seismic safety to reduce casualties and damage to buildings during earthquakes. The school buildings can also serve as temporary earthquake shelters for the general public and as focal points for emergency response after earthquakes. Around 58,700 students, teachers, and other school staff will benefit from the upgraded buildings.

Transcript

Armenia lies in one of the most earthquake-prone regions in the world.

In 1988, 25,000 people lost their lives including 6,000 schoolchildren after a massive earthquake struck close to the northern city of Spitak.

Vache Terteryan
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure

“The Government has initiated an important program to ensure the construction of seismically safe public buildings. We suggested these buildings to be schools, considering that in addition to their role in terms of public safety, they will also protect our children from possible seismic risks.”

With ADB’s support, 46 schools are being reconstructed according to international seismic safety standards including this school in Yerevan which re-opened in February 2021.

Garegin Nersesyan
Yerevan N135 basic school principal

After the earthquake in Spitak, I've always hoped for schools and apartments that would ensure the safety of our people and our children. I am very happy that today there is such a school that ensures the safety of more than 1700 students.”

The new school is much safer and more conducive for learning.

Ramps and elevators provide access for children and staff with disabilities.

New facilities include a gym, an events hall, a well-stocked library, and a solar energy system for hot water.

Arevik Hovhannisyan
Yerevan N135 basic school student

“The school looks nice and the classrooms are brighter. It’s much easier to study with the new facilities.”

Almost 60,000 students and staff will benefit from the program once completed

While over 87,000 residents living nearby can use the schools as temporary earthquake shelters.

Gohar Mousaelyan
Senior Project Officer
ADB Armenia Resident Mission

“The program helped to update the seismic design norms which will improve the design capacity for the entire building sector in Armenia.”

Disaster preparedness and response will be taught in the schools and nearby communities.

Paolo Spantigati
Country Director for Armenia

Asian Development Bank

“At ADB, we're very happy to work with the government for the seismic resilience of schools. Every parent should feel safe when they send the children at school, that the school is safe and it's a place where children can get a good education, and nobody should be worried. So, we really plan to continue working with the government, and every school in Armenia should be safe, resistant, and resilient.”

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