Direct relief renews ASEAN’s commitment to the region, building on the strength of past partnerships

Direct Relief this week renewed its commitment to disaster response and humanitarian support by signing an agreement with the ASEAN Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Management, or AHA.

The signing ceremony, held in Brunei, was part of the 44th meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management and the 20th meeting of the Governing Body of the AHA Center, which was attended by the heads of national disaster management agencies of all 10 ASEAN member countries. In the states.

ASEAN, which stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, includes Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, the Philippines, Myanmar and Malaysia. ASEAN member states have a combined population of 640 million people, and these 10 countries sit on or near the „Ring of Fire” surrounding the Pacific Ocean, which is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Dyke and AHA Center Executive Director Lee Yam Ming signed the agreement, renewing a long-standing strategic partnership between the two organizations that was first signed in 2016.

„The partnership between the AHA Center and Direct Relief will enhance the facility’s response capacity in the ASEAN region,” said Lee Yam Ming, Executive Director of the AHA Center. „Through this partnership, we continue to broaden and expand our cooperation in preparedness, response and recovery efforts. The AHA Center looks forward to working with Direct Relief to make ASEAN a disaster-resilient region.

„Due to the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, including some of the most serious earthquakes and tsunamis on record, Direct Relief is ready to coordinate and respond at a moment’s notice with the AHA Center,” said Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Dyke. . „Today’s event marks Direct Relief’s commitment to building on the past eight years of collaboration with the AHA Center, as well as a vision of future support in the region to help those most affected by disasters and crises.”

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Since 2008, Direct Relief has provided more than $387 million in medical supplies across ASEAN member states. Since the 2016 signing, Direct Relief has provided $1.187 million in grant funding for the purchase and reservation of emergency supplies, health infrastructure reconstruction, capacity building, AHA regional training and various AHA-led projects.

In addition to regular donations of medicines and medical supplies, it has launched major institutional responses, raising direct relief to disasters in the region, including the Indian Ocean Tsunami (Indonesia, 2004), Cyclone Nargis (Myanmar, 2008), Typhoon Haiyan (Philippines, 2013), Sulawesi and Lombok. Earthquakes (Indonesia, 2018) and the Covid-19 pandemic response across Southeast Asia.

Direct Relief and the AHA Center have also coordinated emergency preparedness efforts, including pre-positioning of emergency medical supplies at ASEAN disaster supply depots in Malaysia and the Philippines, joint participation in emergency response exercises and policy dialogues, and funding for AHA-led initiatives. Information sharing, data analysis, mapping, and collaboration during large-scale emergency response operations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

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