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ECHO Factsheet – South Caucasus – January 2018

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FACTS & FIGURES

300 000 beneficiaries for the entire region from the period of 2016 to 2017

Total disaster risk reduction (DRR) funding in the South Caucasus: €2.8 million from 2016 to 2018

Total EU humanitarian funding: €188 million from 1993 to 2016

Introduction

The South Caucasus region is particularly prone to natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods, and landslides. Rising temperatures due to climate change are exacerbating the impact of climate-related disasters. Improving the capacity of national authorities and local communities to prepare for and respond to disaster is a priority for the European Union in the region.

The EU’s humanitarian funding has been focused on supporting the disaster preparedness program (DIPECHO) in order to increase the capacity of national stakeholders and people's resilience to recurrent disasters.
The threat of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh adds to humanitarian risks.

Since 1992, the European Union has allocated a total of over €188 million in the South Caucasus countries (Georgia €97 million, Armenia €49 million, and Azerbaijan €42 million).

What are the needs?

The varied geography of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, which includes vast mountain chains, grasslands, and large river systems, makes this region particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. The whole region is exposed to a variety of natural hazards, and in recent years, the rising temperatures due to climate change are exacerbating natural disasters such as floods and landslides.

However, earthquakes remain the predominant threat. The region spans several fault lines, making it one of the most seismically active zones in the world, and earthquakes are a frequent occurrence. Major cities in South Caucasus are especially at risk. Moreover, earthquakes can trigger avalanches, landslides and mudflows, which pose a considerable threat as almost two-thirds of the entire population of the region live in mountainous areas. Climate change is expected to increase vulnerabilities and exposure to hazards in the coming years, and will subsequently result in the need for greater adaptation and assistance in the South Caucasus.