A UNICEF supported nationwide school safety assessment showed that 80% of school buildings in Armenia do not conform to building codes and standards, putting over 280,000 students at risk.
Scientific evidence confirms that the devastating effects of climate change will intensify the frequency and scale of natural disasters in years to come. When disaster strikes, children are the most susceptible to risking injury, trauma and survival. Without sustained efforts to reduce risk and build capacity to recoup from disasters, such events can set back hardwon gains achieved in social and economic development. For UNICEF, building resilience at national and local levels is important both for development and as an humanitarian priority. Initiatives that build the resilience of children and their families will strengthen their capacity to better cope with, and adapt to new situations, shocks, or adversity in their communities.
The «safe schools» agenda is a good example of mainstreaming climate and earthquake risk mitigation into the education system, and at the same time, this contributes to ensure gender equality and inclusion of children with disabilities in resilience building. Extracurricular activities involving children and youth in local risk assessments and in risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives have a positive effect on overall preparedness efforts. Child-focused disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been a core UNICEF activity in Armenia and in the region for years.