Special Training-Workshop at the Ministry of Emergency Situations

Special Training-Workshop at the Ministry of Emergency Situations

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On May 14, jointly with the expert group of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of RA there was held “Risk Communication and Emergency Communication” training-workshop in the frameworks of the three-year technical support program on “The Improvement of Public Awareness and Emergency Communication with the Purpose of Disaster Risk Management”.

The aim of the training-workshop was to improve public and mass media awareness on disasters, the abilities of MES officials and also to contribute to the dissemination of information.

The representatives of mass media, press secretaries, specialists of MES management sphere, lecturers, students and citizens took part in the training-workshop.

The Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Arkadi Balyan made an opening speech, greeted the attendees and mentioned that he stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries and expected comprehensive discussion of disaster and risk reduction program.

Reporter of “Jiji Press” Kazuyuki Nakagawa delivered a special lecture, where he touched upon the information on disasters from the viewpoint of journalists and the preparedness of the government and mass media. Speaking about the earthquake in Spitak in 1988, the expert mentioned that there had been lack of information about the earthquake in Japan.

Speaking about the earthquake of Kobe, K. Nakagawa highlighted the extent of preparedness of the journalists and considered their systematized work highly important. “In the result of not following the instructions of Shimarara municipality and the local specialists of the sphere 12 journalists and rescuers died during the eruption of the volcano”.

Then the chief advisor of JICA expert group Koichi Shiwaku presented the purpose of three-year technical support program on “The Improvement of Public Awareness and Emergency Communication with the Purpose of Disaster Risk Management”, which has launched in March 2019. “Communication is not the provision of one-sided information, all the role-players should communicate with each other: they should communicate and share information in order to improve response and restoration operations during emergency situations”, said K. Shiwaku.

Journalist of MES official electronic press – 911 tert.am and cmsa.am website of Crisis Management State Academy, member of the working group of the program Aram Zakaryan presented the conceptual issues on population training “Key Issues of Safety Culture in Armenia”. “The basis for the safety culture in each country is the training of population, which should start from the kindergarten”.

The training was followed by the workshop with debates and questions.

Particularly, the Deputy Minister A. Balyan asked whether the “unsparing” dissemination of information wouldn’t evoke panic in the public. The reporter of “Jiji press” noted that the absence of information could cause panic as well.

During the group discussion the Head of Crisis Management National Center of Rescue Service of MES, r/s colonel Hovhannes Khangeldyan wondered whether there existed a law in Japan restricting the coverage of disaster information by the mass media. The Japanese colleague informed that there wasn’t such a restriction.

The attendees participated in the group work titled “What are the Needs and Requirements from the Viewpoint of the Government, Mass Media and Other Organizations?”

At the end of the workshop, the Project Manager of UNICEF Disaster Risk Reduction Program Tigran Tovmasyan spoke on the importance of Disaster Risk Management Plan elaborated by them, which should be included in the educational programs of the kindergartens and schools. It will contribute to the improvement of awareness on disaster and disaster risk.

In addition to the suggestion of the speaker, the Manager of “The Improvement of Public Awareness and Emergency Communication with the Purpose of Disaster Risk Management” program Edmon Zargaryan informed that the Minister of Emergency Situations and the Minister of Education and Science have apreliminary arrangement to launch a pilot program on civil defense in the institutions providing general education for the purpose of further including it in the educational programs. The Project Manager expressed his appreciation to the participants and wished them maximum knowledge on disasters with a view never using it.

the material is taken from  http://mes.am/hy/news/item/2019/05/15/arn.l/?fbclid=IwAR0y4mEwEc1nYa8yBugsES4mVUwdbNJSNZqzcwKVGbc1_GAR55bfgiXF5d8

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan