NATO Trust Funds: NSPA contributes to regional safety in Armenia through Mine Risk Education

18 June 2020

The first NATO Trust Fund project in the Republic of Armenia continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic. NSPA awarded a contract to the National Mine Action Authority, the Armenian Centre for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise (CHDE). In coordination with the Armenian Red Cross Society (ARCS), the CHDE will develop and implement an Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Risk Education (ERW/MRE) programme in Armenia, based on the guidance set in the International Mine Action Standard (IMAS).

On 27 May 2020, the CHDE signed a cooperation agreement with the ARCS to start the implementation of the ERW/MRE programme on 1 July 2020. During the first stage, the ARCS will develop the programme to train and educate 250 teachers in 109 schools distributed in 42 affected communities over four provinces. The second stage of the project focusses on school-based activities. The programme will start at the beginning of the next school year and will educate 24,000 pupils and additional 1,500 teachers using publications and educational material, seminars, education and children’s quizzes. In a final stage, community-based activities will be organised to educate local population as well as building safe playgrounds for children.

The ERW/MRE programme is the second initiative of the NATO Trust Fund project in Armenia, executed by NSPA and lead by Germany. The goal is to increase awareness of dangers and risk of legacy ERW and mines in the region among the population enhancing a 'safe' behavioural change to reduce the number of accidents and incidents caused by legacy ERW and mines. Through education and awareness, this initiative will also contribute to increase confidence and improve relationships between affected communities, mine action organizations and donors.

NATO Trust Funds are voluntary, nationally led and funded projects that focus on security and defence-related projects. These projects help to increase stability, diminish threats to peace and build strengthened security relationships between NATO and Partner countries. NSPA acts as project executing agent in these projects, leveraging project management, commercial and expert technical skills available within the Agency as well as strong links to the Ministries of Defence.