Safety, and Disaster Risk Reduction
The structure of the landscape, climate and infrastructure makes the Republic of Azerbaijan vulnerable to emergencies as a result of a number of natural disasters like earthquakes, seasonal floods and landslides, and man-made disasters like industrial disasters and transport accidents. Every year floods and landslides in particular cause significant damage, and there is the ever-present risk of earthquakes as Azerbaijan lies in a region with moderate to very high seismic activity.
UNICEF recognizes the threat these natural disasters pose to children, and a new EU-funded partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Emergency Situations has been established to boost awareness and safety in schools. This means: inclusion of disaster risk reduction concepts and learning activities into the formal curriculum from pre-primary to secondary level education; school-based disaster preparedness planning; increasing awareness in vulnerable communities; and advocating for safer school construction.
While the Ministry of Emergency Situations has a strong existing disaster response programme, UNICEF’s goal is to improve preparedness by ensuring that disaster risks in schools are minimised. It works with the relevant Ministries to ensure that risk reduction is mainstreamed into all sectors in order to ensure that the rights, safety and resilience of vulnerable girls, boys and women in hazard prone communities, including those affected by climate change, are enhanced through a reduction in disaster risk.