CERIDES co-organises the Main Planning Conference of DG-ECHO FSX Project HOPE in Armenia


CERIDES is happy to announce the successful implementation of the Training Event and the Main Planning Conference of the DG-ECHO Full-Scale Exercise project HOPE, which took place in Yerevan, Armenia, between the 28th and the 31st of March 2023. The CERIDES team which co-organised both events consisted of Mr. Evangelos Katsaros, CERIDES Research Associate and Manager of the project, Dr. Christos Dimopoulos, CERIDES co-Director, Scientific and Head Evaluator of the project, and Dr. Georgia Solomonidou, CERIDES Research Associate and Dissemination and Communication Manager of the project.

The Training Event which took place on the 28th of March, allowed the Civil Protection authorities of the countries involved in HOPE to share their experiences in the provision of Health, Safety, and Psychological Support to their First Responders. The results of this training event will be exploited during the implementation and evaluation processes of the upcoming Table-Top and Full-Scale Exercises of the project HOPE.

During HOPE’s Main Planning Conference the participants had the opportunity to discuss and agree the main topics for the Table Top and Full-Scale exercises (TTX & FSX), including details for injects, logistics, and security (discussion on these topics supported by Mr. Evangelos Katsaros), exercise evaluation (the evaluation framework was presented by Dr. Christos Dimopoulos) and project dissemination (discussion supported by Ms. Georgia Solomonidou). The different programs (Observers, VIP) which will take place during the FSX were also described. In addition, the participants were able to share best solutions and practices in dealing with response and recovery of emergency incidents, and to conduct discussions on topics such as the current SOPs in the region (including cross-border ones), the current status of all emergency management actors, and the occurring issues that can be improved and tested during the FSX.

The event was hosted by the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations of The Republic of Armenia (MES), headed by R/S Colonel Tigran Petrosyan, Deputy Director of Rescue Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of RA, and Ms. Armine HayrapetyanRepresentative of MES in foreign countries and International Organisations. The event was also attended by the representative of the Emergency Management Agency of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia Republic, as one of the main aims of the HOPE project is to improve the international cross border cooperation procedures of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

The participants were also very happy to welcome Mr. Peter Glerum, Team Leader of the PPRD EAST 3 Project, who discussed the cooperation activities between the two projects, as thee have been agreed during the 1st Planning Conference of the HOPE project. Last but not least, the Conference was honoured to host the DG-ECHO Project Officer Ms. Mariangela Pelliccia, who offered her valuable insights on the design and implementation of the upcoming Exercises, based on her significant experience on the topic.

The HOPE FSX project is funded by the Directorate-General (DG) for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – (ECHO), through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (Call: UCPM-2021-EXT). CERIDES acts as the Coordinating Organisation for this project. The aim of the project is to improve civil protection preparedness and response capabilities of Armenia in dealing with large, complex disasters that require joint response coordination facilitated via the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and INSARAG. South Caucasus countries’ efforts for sustainable development are clearly threatened by a devastating earthquake. Thus, sharing capacities, capabilities and resources, scientific support decision making, use of proven innovative tools, and joint training / exercising can lead to radical improvement of international cross border cooperation procedures of the Mechanism.

The CERIDES Team responsible for the management, coordination, and implementation of the HOPE project, comprises of the following scientists:

Mr. Evangelos Katsaros (Project Manager)

Dr. Christos Dimopoulos (Scientific Manager & Head Evaluator)

Dr. Georgia Solomonidou (Research Associate)

Professor George Boustras (Scientific Advisor)