WITH the recent super typhoon which hit the Philippines last Friday (November 8), the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) has been providing necessary support to the government of the Philippines as well as coordinating assistance from ASEAN member states.
The AHA Centre has sent an emergency response team to the Philippines after monitoring the movements of Haiyan in the last six days through its operation centre in Jakarta and alerted member states about its possible impact.
The AHA Centre has also prepositioned its team members and the ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) in Manila and Tacloban a day before the powerful typhoon made its landfall in the Philippines.
The centre has also coordinated with National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) authorities to discuss possible relief supports for the Philippines.
The Tacloban team also helped set up emergency communications just before Haiyan hits the area in order to help the disaster management office to communicate with the national government in the earliest hours after the typhoon hit.
Yesterday, more support teams arrived in Tacloban city including AHA Centre Field Team Leader, ERAT members from Brunei Darussalam and representative from AADMER Partnership Group – all additional ASEAN groups, to assess immediate assistance required by the local disaster management authorities and the affected communities.
The assessment results will be shared between ASEAN Member States and other assisting entities to enable them to decide the types of assistance that can be provided.
The Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Said Faisal stated that, “The Philippines has been tested by this super typhoon and by other natural disasters this year.
It has been a challenging year, and we feel our profound solidarity with the people of the Philippines.”
He added on that, “We believe that other neighbouring countries in this region are now also seeking for opportunities to support the Philippines.
The AHA Centre is ready to send relief assistance, and to facilitate other ASEAN Member States which are willing to send their assistance to the Philippines.”
The Executive Director also appreciated Brunei Darussalam for sending their ASEAN-ERAT Members from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to support ASEAN’s Emergency Response Operations.
The Government of Australia also provided support for the Haiyan emergency response operation by AHA Centre while the Government of Japan will deliver relief items from the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) that will be mobilised soon.
AHA Centre also has been closely monitoring the movement of typhoon Haiyan as it moves to Viet Nam yesterday morning and assessing its possible impacts while on standby to provide necessary assistance when required.
The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) has mandated that AHA Centre, which conducts its day-to-day operations in Jakarta, Indonesia, will serve as the regional hub for disaster risk monitoring and analysis, and as a coordination engine to ensure ASEAN’s fast and collective response to disasters within the region.
The Brunei Times