ASEAN Disaster Management Reference Manuals (June 2022) – Global



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is made up of 10 member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. While ASEAN’s goals and objectives touch on various sectors, such as economy, culture, academic research and industry, its member states have also declared that as a regional grouping, they will promote peace. , regional stability, mutual assistance and collaboration. All of these underpin ASEAN’s efforts to better respond to natural and man-made disasters and to mitigate the impacts of disasters through coordinated action.

The Indian Ocean tsunami (“Boxing Day”) of December 2004 caused significant loss and damage in Southeast Asia. Although countries outside the region have also suffered, the devastation in places like Indonesia and Thailand has propelled these countries and their other ASEAN member states into a process of formalizing and institutionalizing their individual approaches and collective disaster management (DM). The early completion of the negotiations to formulate the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), the legal basis for the ASEAN regional MD, was of paramount importance. AADMER was signed in 2005 and entered into force after ratification in 2009.

Over the past 15 years, ASEAN has prioritized building capacity to deal with natural hazards such as floods, droughts and typhoons. Figure 1 presents a 10-year summary of disasters that have struck the ASEAN region. The ASEAN Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management (AHA Center) classifies an event as a disaster if more than 100 people in more than one sub-district have been affected. Data from the AHA Center’s ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet) shows that 85% of disasters in the ASEAN region are caused by hydro-meteorological hazards.

Floods, storms and wind account for large proportions of displacement compared to other disasters. Floods are the most frequent type of disaster, while wind-related disasters constitute the greatest losses in terms of economic damage, displacement and number of people affected. ASEAN has succeeded in developing institutions not only to deal with the threat posed by natural hazards, but also to build the resilience of communities at risk.

ASEAN capacity is not simply static – formal agreements or summits – but rather takes the form of ASEAN MD programs and work plans, regular emergency simulation exercises and the creation of the AHA center and the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) . Although these developments have enabled ASEAN to be a central player in dealing with natural hazards, each member state retains its own local and national processes and agencies, and it is in the coordination of these national processes that the ASEAN plays a key role.

Despite progress in establishing common frameworks, policies and plans for disaster risk reduction (DRR), mitigation and response, ASEAN as a whole continues to fill the gaps. For example, during the response to the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many regional initiatives started as ad hoc projects because there was no single regional entity responsible for responding to emergencies. of public health.

Nonetheless, as the pandemic progressed, evidence of coordinated efforts emerged. In February 2020, once it became clear that COVID-19 was going to become a significant issue, Vietnam (as ASEAN Chair) issued the Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN’s collective response to the 2019 coronavirus outbreak. Shortly thereafter, an ASEAN Special Coordinating Council (ACC) on COVID-19 was convened and established the ACC Task Force on Public Health Emergencies. During the Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 in April 2020, there was renewed pressure to expand the mandate of the AHA Center to cover public health emergencies, and the AHA Center opened DELSA warehouses for the use of emergency stocks such as mobile storage units, hygiene kits and prefabricated offices. In the end, although ASEAN solidarity was an essential part of the pandemic response, it was not enough to overcome severe material and technical shortcomings, and most aid was bilateral. with China, Singapore, the United States (US) and Vietnam providing assistance to ASEAN member states directly. Given the successes and shortcomings seen in ASEAN collective demand management actions in recent years, ASEAN member states continue to invest in ASEAN capabilities. Ongoing efforts are focused on building the capacity of the AHA center, creating training and certification programs for MD practitioners and professionals, and integrating extra-regional and international partners into planning and rehearsal processes. ASEAN to ensure that ASEAN and its member states are integrated into the global humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) community of practice.

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