ARMENIA'S DAM SAFETY PROJECT WINS WORLD BANK COMPETITION

armradio.am
02.04.2008 12:40

Armenia's Dam Safety Project won one of the World Bank's first
annual "Improving the Lives of People in Europe & Central Asia"
award yesterday for its contribution to the development of the country.

"The World Bank's involvement in this sector was an immediate
response to the Government's concern that the country's dam
system was in physical neglect and facing the risk of failure,"
said Donna Dowsett-Coirolo, the World Bank Country Director for
Armenia. "Technical investigations revealed that, by international
standards, most dams in Armenia did not meet acceptable safety
norms. The most important angle of this project therefore is that it
has ensured the safety of people living downstream of dams - almost
half a million residents across Armenia."

Under this Project 26 dams facing the highest risk of failure were
rehabilitated, and 375,000 people living downstream of these dams are
now protected. The ongoing rehabilitation of Marmarik dam will provide
safety to an additional 162,000 people living downstream. Emergency
Preparedness Plans have been developed for all sites, and Emergency
Warning Systems have been installed for 156 villages. The Emergency
Management Agency continues to conduct awareness-raising campaigns
in the downstream located communities.

The World Bank event was held Tuesday in Washington. A World Bank
panel of judges selected a total of 22 activities across the Europe
and Central Asia Region. The winning entries showcase results and
real impact, as well as the project's dedication to solid work in
monitoring and evaluating those results. They illustrate the value
of innovation, solid implementation, and sustainability.

"These winning activities from across Europe and Central Asia show the
results that client countries and the World Bank can achieve together
as partners in supporting countries' development efforts," said Shigeo
Katsu, Europe and Central Asia Region Vice President, World Bank.

"Increasingly, governments and other stakeholders alike demand evidence
to guide policy decisions. They want us to demonstrate that our support
to programs and projects improves the outcomes for their citizens, and
they want to see that capacity building and knowledge work help them
deliver development. The World Bank teams have worked hard to improve
results and the ability to measure them and these winning entries
show that the effort is paying off for the people in the Region."

The projects reflect the World Bank's strategic themes laid out by
World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, including:

Helping overcome poverty and spur sustainable growth in the poorest
countries â[email protected]¢ Fragile and post-conflict affected countries â[email protected]¢
Development solutions for middle income countries â[email protected]¢ An active role
in regional and global public goods â[email protected]¢ Fostering a knowledge and
learning agenda

The ECA Results competition will be held annually to celebrate the
impact of projects and programs in the Region.

Armenia's Programmatic Poverty Monitoring also won one of the World
Bank's first annual "Improving the Lives of People in Europe & Central
Asia" award yesterday for its contribution to the development of
the country.

"The series of Armenia's Programmatic Poverty Assessments throughout
the years, since mid 90s, has built the required capacity of the
National Statistical Service to collect information on the status
of the well-being of the population," said Donna Dowsett-Coirolo,
the World Bank Country Director for Armenia. "Objective, factual
information is so critical for monitoring well-being and for knowledge
based policy making, in particular in health, education and social
protection. The information provided by Statistical Service impacts
the Government policies and, ultimately, people's life on the ground."

Comprehensive household surveys are conducted annually by the National
Statistical Service, as an input to decision-making in social
policy. For example, information provided by the surveys has been
crucial for the design and budgeting of targeted social assistance
and free access to health care.

Living standards indicators and Social Snapshot and Poverty Report
are published annually in both Armenian and English, and are widely
disseminated. The data is also available for analysis by others. The
Statistical Service has become independent, and now it reports its
findings to all clients at the same time.

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