CERIDES is happy to announce the successful implementation of the 1st Planning Conference of DG-ECHO Full-Scale Exercise project HOPE, which took place in Yerevan, Armenia, during the 6th and the 9th of September 2022. The CERIDES team which co-organised the Conference consisted of Mr. Evangelos Katsaros, CERIDES Research Associate and Manager of the project, Dr. Christos Dimopoulos, CERIDES co-Director and Scientific Manager of the project, and Dr. Georgia Solomonidou, Dissemination and Communication Manager of the project.
The main objective of HOPE’s 1st Planning Conference was to provide a framework for discussion of the exercise implementation, through the elaboration of the initial exercise scenario and the presentation of the associated injects, capacities, as well as the project management structure of the organisations and people involved in the exercise. In addition, the Conference brought together all participating countries and allowed them to discuss their experiences on successful emergency strategies, and the implementation of the Host Nation Support process.
The event was hosted by the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations of The Republic of Armenia (MES), headed by Mr. Hovhannes Yemishyan, Deputy Director of Rescue Service, and Ms. Armine Hayrapetyan, Representative of MES in foreign countries and International Organisations. The event was also attended by key stakeholders from the MSB – Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, supporting the project through the PPRD EAST 3 and the Twinning ‘Enhancing Civil Protection in Armenia’ initiatives.
The Conference was also attended by 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. Last but not least, the Conference was honored to host the DG-ECHO Project Officer Mr. Geir Ellingsen, who offered his valuable insights on the design and implementation of Full Scale Exercises, based on his vast practical experience on the subject.
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. The HOPE Consortium comprises of academic, civil protection, and private organisations from the countries of Armenia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.
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.