Armenia : Seismic Safety Improvement Program – Additional Financing

Sovereign Project | 49078-004

On 22 September 2015, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved the Seismic Safety Improvement Program (SSIP) for $88.5 million equivalent, as well as an attached technical assistance project. The original loan closing date was 31 May 2021, which was subsequently extended to 31 May 2026. The program's outcome is improved coverage of seismically safe school buildings. The outputs are (i) seismic resilience of school buildings increased, (ii) seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity strengthened, (iii) supportive policies and systems for seismic disaster risk management and reduction improved, and (iv) national capacity in executing and implementing the seismic safety investment program enhanced.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Mousaelyan, Gohar Rouben
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Armenia
  • Sector
    • Education
Project Name
Seismic Safety Improvement Program – Additional Financing
Project Number
49078-004
Country / Economy
  • Armenia
Project Status
Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 4351-ARM: Seismic Safety Improvement Program " Additional Financing
Source Amount
Ordinary capital resources US$ 72.30 million
Operational Priorities
  • OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • OP4: Making cities more livable
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector
  • Education / Education sector development

  • Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Other urban services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender
Effective gender mainstreaming
Description

On 22 September 2015, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved the Seismic Safety Improvement Program (SSIP) for $88.5 million equivalent, as well as an attached technical assistance project. The original loan closing date was 31 May 2021, which was subsequently extended to 31 May 2026. The program's outcome is improved coverage of seismically safe school buildings. The outputs are (i) seismic resilience of school buildings increased, (ii) seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity strengthened, (iii) supportive policies and systems for seismic disaster risk management and reduction improved, and (iv) national capacity in executing and implementing the seismic safety investment program enhanced.

The RBL program impact will continue to align with the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. It also aligns with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the State Education Development Program 2030 approved in December 2022. The outcome will be improved coverage of seismically safe school buildings through increasing the proportion of male and female students studying in school buildings that meet seismic safety standards by 5.3 percentage points.

Output 1: Seismic resilience of school buildings increased. The program will support the seismic strengthening of at least 46 schools (DLI 2) identified under the government's SSRP, in accordance with the updated building code and the guidelines for school retrofitting (DLI 4). The strengthened school buildings will meet internationally accepted seismic safety standards and also meet government requirements regarding energy efficiency, gender, and inclusive access (e.g., wheelchair accessibility, barrier-free floor plans, and sex-disaggregated toilets). Schools will provide transformative facilities or spaces for community activities after school hours.

Output 2: Seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity strengthened. Emergency response action plans will be developed for each SSIP school. Awareness campaigns will be conducted for at least 46 communities neighboring the SSIP schools (DLI 3) with special attention to women. Technical knowledge and skills of 100 construction managers and workers will be strengthened through vocational training. Fifteen seismic observation stations will be upgraded with new equipment and training to enhance the seismic monitoring capacities of at least 45 staff.

Output 3: Supportive policies and systems for seismic disaster risk management and reduction improved. This will be tracked by DLI 4, which will support (i) updating the government's SSRP, (ii) developing guidelines for strengthening and retrofitting schools in line with international best practices, (iii) reviewing and updating Armenia's building code for school buildings to harmonize with international seismic safety standards, and (iv) updating the national seismic hazard probabilistic map based on seismic risk assessment. A strategy will be developed to guide the financing of investment needs for seismic risk management in public infrastructure. A manual for the application of the updated building code will be developed and approved to guide structural engineers on the revised seismic standards.

Output 4: National capacity in executing and implementing the seismic safety investment program enhanced. The program will strengthen the capacity of the ATDF in implementing SSRP and other seismic safety programs. The ATDF will be strengthened by updating the ATDF operations manual; enhancing systems for program implementation and management; and training at least 30 staff in program implementation and management, 40% of whom will be women (DLI 5).

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
In November 2021, the government requested that ADB process an additional financing loan for the SSIP, indicating that the planned SSIP targets could not be achieved because of cost overruns. The cost overruns are the result of exogenous factors and design requirements. Exogenous factors include (i) increases in the price of school construction; (ii) volatility in the value of the Armenian dram and its appreciation against the United States dollar; (iii) geo-political instability in 2020 and 2022; (iv) macroeconomic instability and accelerating inflation; and (v) government changes that delayed critical decision making and macroeconomic instability that led to significant budget cuts in 2017 and 2018, which affected initial implementation. Price increases in the construction sector have been steep and the average cost per SSIP seismic-resistant school has increased by about 50% (in local currency) since 2021. Design requirements include the high seismic standards that had to be applied to the extremely unsafe schools selected for SSIP by the government to protect children's lives all the selected schools (except one that was retrofitted) have required reconstruction. ADB has undertaken a due diligence assessment and confirmed that the loan meets the eligibility criteria for additional financing. The benefits of completing the ongoing program are assessed to outweigh the benefits offered by other options because of the ongoing government program and well-established implementation arrangements.
Impact

Disaster-resilience of schools and individuals improved, and contribution to sustainable development enhanced

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Improved coverage of seismically safe school buildings

Progress Toward Outcome
In January the Capacity Building Consultant and the ARRM Environment and H&S Consultant conducted two half-day training for 12 work supervisors and 8 ATDF engineers. The objective of the training was to strengthen the technical capacities of the participants on ensuring proper execution of works in accordance with the design documents, drawings, and construction standards. Another workshop is scheduled for February 2022.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Seismic resilience of school buildings increased

Seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity strengthened

Supportive policies and systems for seismic disaster risk management and reduction improved

National capacity in executing and implementing the seismic safety investment program enhanced

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location
Nation-wide, Yerevan

Safeguard Categories

Environment
C
Involuntary Resettlement
C
Indigenous Peoples
C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Contact

Responsible ADB Officer
Mousaelyan, Gohar Rouben
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Human and Social Development Sector Office (SG-HSD)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure

Timetable

Concept Clearance
01 Feb 2024
Fact Finding
20 Apr 2022 to 06 May 2022
MRM
29 Jun 2023
Approval
29 Sep 2023
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
29 Sep 2023

Funding

Loan 4351-ARM

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Sep 2023 27 Nov 2023 07 May 2024 30 Sep 2027 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 85.70
ADB 72.30
Counterpart 13.40
Cofinancing 0.00
Loan Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 23 May 2024 0.00 0.00 0%
Cumulative Disbursements 23 May 2024 0.00 0.00 0%

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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Tenders

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Contracts Awarded

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Procurement Plan

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