In a disaster relief situation, how do national authorities negotiate and deal with international actors to maximise the response impact? A two-day simulation exercise took place in Yerevan on 17-18 May. It was conducted as part of the EU funded “Programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters in the Eastern Partnership Countries” (PPRD East 2) and tested Armenia’s arrangements for the effective reception and utilisation of international relief teams.
The purpose of the exercise was to enhance inter-institutional, inter-ministerial and inter-agency cooperation with regard to requesting and managing foreign disaster response assistance in accordance to the EU Host Nation Support Guidelines. It builds on a scenario where a serious disaster caused by natural hazard had occurred on the territory of Armenia and led the Government to request international assistance. In reply to the request for international assistance, several fictive rescue teams from EU Civil Protection Mechanism Participating States arrived to the country. Through negotiations and coordination meetings simulated by the PPRD East 2 expert team, the participants were faced with and had to resolve requests of different nature, like provision of assistance to the teams in border crossing, customs clearance, allocation of space for the establishment of camps, provision of fuel, escort to disaster affected areas, addressing alos security, legal and liability aspects, and similar.
The event was hosted by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Armenia and took place at the Crisis Management State Academy in Yerevan. The exercise was attended by a number of experts from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Nature Protection, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Healthcare, Ministry of Economy, Police, Government Adjunct General Department of Civil Aviation, Government Adjunct National Security Service, Government Adjunct State Revenue Committee, and “Zvartnots” International Airport.
Opening of the TTX