Vol 74 – EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE H.E. JOSEP BORRELL VISITED THE AHA CENTRE TO DEEPEN RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO REGIONS IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT
EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE
H.E. JOSEP BORRELL
VISITED THE AHA CENTRE TO DEEPEN RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO REGIONS IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT
In the first visit by a VVIP after more than a year of working from home, on 3 June 2021 the AHA Centre had the honour of welcoming High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, European Union (EU) H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell.
Arriving at the AHA Centre, Mr. Borrell was welcomed by Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms. Adelina Kamal, Deputy Executive Director Mr. Arnel Capili, and staff of the AHA Centre. During his visit, Mr. Borrell had the opportunity to see how the AHA Centre’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) works during an emergency response. Other important information about the AHA Centre’s responses and activities in disaster management in the ASEAN region was also presented.
Mr. Borrell stated that his visit to the AHA Centre was important and informative as he had the opportunity to listen to the presentation of the valuable work that was done there. “The EU continues to provide capacity building to [the] AHA [Centre] and civil protection and emergency humanitarian assistance when disasters strike,” he said after the visit.
According to him, ASEAN and the EU share the same commitment to rules-based multilateralism. This is one of the reasons why he needed to visit ASEAN in the midst of the current pandemic.
“ASEAN is the nucleus around which inclusive forms of regional cooperation are built. Regional integration is a way to safeguard our respective ‘strategic autonomy’ for both of us,” H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell
stated in his official statement published by the EU website (https://eeas.europa.eu/)
Ms. Adelina stressed the significance of Mr. Borrell’s visit to the AHA Centre. Not only because it was the first VVIP visit hosted by the AHA Centre after more than one year working from home, but also because the EU is one of the biggest supporters of the AHA Centre through the Integrated Programme in Enhancing the Capacity of the AHA Centre and ASEAN Emergency Response Mechanisms (EU SAHA) project. “EU support shaped the AHA Centre in our formative years. We look forward to working with the EU in our transformative years to come,” said Ms. Adelina.
The 45-minute visit was also attended by Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN H.E. Mr. Igor Driesmans; Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia Pacific, European External Action Service (EEAS); Mr. Nereo Penalver Garcia, Cabinet Member of the HRVP, EEAS; and Mr. Fabian Breuer, Senior Communication Advisor to HRVP, EEAS. During the visit, Mr. Borrell also discussed several important issues, including how to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the AHA Centre in disaster management and the humanitarian assistance sector.
Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo Credit : AHA Centre & europa.eu
AHA CENTRE HAD ITS FIVE-YEAR PLAN ADOPTED BY THE GOVERNING BOARD
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th Meeting of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre was held online on 8 June, 2021. Apart from the regular progress update, this Governing Board meeting marked four important milestones for the Centre. These were the launch of the 2020 AHA Centre Annual Report, adoption of the 2021-2025 AHA Centre Work Plan, and the completion of the ASEAN Village in Palu.
One significant achievement reported to the Governing Board was the completion of the ASEAN Village under the recovery project for the triple disasters that occurred in 2018 in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The project has successfully constructed 100 permanent houses, an auxiliary community health centre (Puskesmas Pembantu) and a mosque. The ASEAN Village was financially supported by the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Government of the Philippines, the Government of Australia and Direct Relief. The official handover of the village to the local administration of Palu City was conducted on 23 June, 2021 using a hybrid mode. Along with the handover, the Centre also notified the Governing Board of an upcoming publication titled “New Homes of Opportunities: Lessons Learnt on the ASEAN Recovery Support of the Central Sulawesi’s 2018 Disasters” that captures the good practices and lessons learned from the recovery project in Palu.
In line with usual practice, the AHA Centre released its Annual Report for 2020, which captured its achievements and activities in 2020 during the meeting. The 2020 Annual Report was released in full digital format. The Centre now intends to produce its publications in digital form in consideration of its ecological footprint, to reach a wider audience and to enhance the audience learning experience. The Annual Report also serves as a one-stop information location to view all activities of the AHA Centre in 2020. The clickable hyperlinks in the report will lead the reader to the various publications and knowledge platforms the AHA Centre produced in 2020, including the AHA Centre’s webinars made available on the AHA Centre’s YouTube channel.
On the same occasion, the Governing Board also adopted the 2021-2025 AHA Centre Work Plan. The Work Plan was developed in line with the 2021-2025 AADMER Work Programme (AWP) by translating the outcomes and outputs assigned to the AHA Centre into groups of activities. The AHA Centre highlighted that the Work Plan contains six priority areas, with the first five priorities of the AHA Centre Work Plan based on the five priority programmes of the 2021-2025 AWP, while one additional priority is focusing on the corporate governance of the AHA Centre. The document also elaborates the monitoring and data collection plan to support implementation of the Work Plan. The AHA Centre monitoring and learning process is designed to be in line with the AWP monitoring and evaluation system, which will be carried out by the ASEAN Secretariat.
In the 14th Governing Board Meeting, the Centre presented its plan for the upcoming anniversary commemoration to mark the AHA Centre’s 10 years of work in disaster management in the region. This year’s theme is ‘A Decade of Action: From Inception to Transformation’.
Written by: Merry Rismayani, Caroline Widagdo | Photo : AHA Centre
AHA CENTRE SIGNING TWO AGREEMENTS TO MAKE THE REGION MORE DISASTER RESILIENT
In a signing ceremony that was held virtually during the AADMER Partnership Conference (APC) on 8 June, 2021, the AHA Centre signed two agreements that will strengthen disaster management in the region.
As the primary regional coordinating agency in disaster management in the region, the AHA Centre in cooperation with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Thailand (DDPM Thailand) will work together to ensure the speedy efficiency and scale of the ASEAN response in the Mekong sub-region. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the AHA Centre and DDPM Thailand involves the establishment of the DELSA satellite warehouse in Chainat, Thailand to house the ASEAN stockpile for immediate deployment in the neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam. The warehouse was officially launched in 2019. Right after the launch, the AHA Centre and DDPM Thailand have worked closely in operationalising the warehouse, including deploying relief items to support COVID-19 response in the Mekong region.
Director-General of DDPM Thailand Mr. Boontham Lertsukekasem said that the establishment and operationalisation of the satellite warehouse in Chainat was in line with the Roadmap for Enhancing ASEAN Emergency Logistics, which aims to advance ASEAN’s long-term vision of achieving a faster response, more resources and stronger coordination for a collective response. “We expect that the establishment of the satellite warehouse will play an important and critical role in ensuring a timely and effective ASEAN response,” said Mr. Boontham.
The AHA Centre also signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) with Singapore’s Temasek Foundation on cooperation and the exchange of expertise in the field of disaster management and emergency response in the ASEAN region. The cooperation aims to assess risk, to improve the readiness to respond and to build platforms for information exchange and the coordination of logistics.
Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International Mr. Benedict Cheong explained that there was scope for much greater collaboration and coordination in disaster response among the many stakeholders in the ASEAN communities. The MoI will take the partnership of the AHA Centre and the Temasek Foundation to the next level with a better exchange of information and more meaningful collaboration.
“We look forward to working hand in glove with the AHA Centre to build more crisis-resilient communities in the ASEAN region. Ultimately this will lead to a better shared future for all in the ASEAN region, and indeed in Asia and beyond,” Mr Cheong added.
Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms. Adelina Kamal expressed her gratitude on behalf of the AHA Centre and ASEAN Member States for the MoU with DDPM Thailand and the MoI with the Temasek Foundation, as well as the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), for its generous support and contribution to the establishment of the satellite warehouse. The DELSA satellite warehouse in Chainat, along with its sister in the Philippines and the regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia, is an integral part of ASEAN’s collective response. “Moving forward, I hope that the DELSA satellite warehouse in Chainat can also serve as a platform for other partners and the wider ASEAN community, including the ASEAN people, to contribute to One ASEAN One Response”, Ms. Adelina said.
Collaboration with the Temasek Foundation started during the response to the triple disasters in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2018 and continued recently with the Temasek Foundation donating 1.5 million reusable masks through the AHA Centre. Furthermore, the Temasek Foundation was one of the partners in the Humanitarian Emergency and Logistic Innovation Expo (HELiX) held in May. “I am confident that our partnership will grow even stronger, because in the past three years, we’ve built trust and familiarity, as well as shared mutual passion, to make our region more disaster resilient. And these for us at the AHA Centre are the key ingredients to successful partnership,” Ms. Adelina concluded.
Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo Credit : AHA Centre
WHY HELIX IS NOT A SUCCESS (YET)
The name HELiX was a year in the making. And the event itself had a much longer history. Gaynor Tanyang, the DELSA Programme Coordinator, is here to share the story.
HELiX, or the Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics Innovation Expo, is a component of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System of ASEAN (DELSA) project, which is one of the AHA Centre’s oldest-running projects. In 2018, DELSA Phase II was approved, which has three components: the establishment of DELSA satellite warehouses in the Philippines and Thailand; capacity building; and innovation.
Planning for HELiX started in 2019 with three cogs: problem identification; sharing and recognising innovative approaches; and the development of concrete action plans from National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs).
In March 2020, my colleague Ms. Caroline Widagdo and myself met with our country host, Viet Nam, travelling to Hanoi on an almost empty plane, face masks on. We excitedly planned for a big physical event in conjunction with the commemoration of Viet Nam’s National Day of Disaster Prevention and Control in May 2020. HELiX was also going to be one of the flagship events of Viet Nam’s ASEAN chairmanship. As the cases of COVID-19 grew in number globally and in the region, the co-organisers agreed to push back the staging of HELiX to 2021, with a prayerful optimism that the event could be held physically onsite.
Meanwhile, the DELSA team got busy digging for examples of logistics innovations that could be applied in the humanitarian context and found a myriad of them. We had insightful discussions with partners, old friends and industry experts to understand how they defined “innovation”. We sought their views about the trends and challenges in the supply chain and what ASEAN could do to improve humanitarian logistics. In a parallel process, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported research on logistics-capacity needs assessment in ASEAN. Meanwhile, Ms. Agustina (Rina) Tnunay, our internal authority on logistics was busy asking the NDMOs in ASEAN what the future of DELSA should look like.
All of these initiatives became part of the “problem definition” that influenced the design of HELiX. Thinking time was on our hands, the DELSA team was emboldened to take on a complex conference design that had simultaneous sessions, a hackathon, a pitching competition and an exhibition. We wanted the conference experience itself to look, hear and feel innovative. But 2020 drew to a close with all of us still working from home. The situation still felt very volatile and uncertain.
The decision to go ahead with HELiX in a fully online mode was agreed in mid-February. We set-up the virtual conference infrastructure with the support of Mr. Risdianto Irawan, our internal tech buff. We introduced the idea of HELiX to everyone we could reach by email.
We had HELiX meetings back-to-back – with partners and their partners – and we were invigorated that they, too, were excited about the idea. And the event itself had a very fruitful outcome – both in numbers and in substance. We even met our target with regard to our competition prizes threefold! Winners got a chance to visit Singapore, receive mentoring from financial investment experts and cash prizes! And many will agree, they saw, they heard and they felt innovative at some point being part of the HELiX experience.
SO WHY DO I SAY THAT HELIX IS NOT A SUCCESS (YET)?
Problem identification? Check. Sharing and recognising innovative solutions? Check. Developing a concrete action plan by ASEAN Member States? In progress.
When I was leading the visioning and planning of HELiX, I had in mind that the outcomes of HELiX would feed into the new phase of the ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Roadmap. This would seal the trifecta of HELiX success.
And while planning HELiX, I could hear Co-Chair of the Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Working Group (PRRWG) Mr. Abdul Razak’s voice in my head saying, “HELiX should address the challenges of ASEAN Member States in humanitarian logistics.”
So, here is where we are. We celebrate the bonds and networks that flourished during HELiX. We cheer the indomitable spirit of the AHA Centre staff who provided an unforgettable virtual experience in a time of COVID-19.
But we have only begun our baby steps. The real seal of success for HELiX is to see, hear and feel the visible and tangible innovative solutions at work in the 10 ASEAN Member States. Who knows? Our Donation Matching App by Padayon, could be ASEAN’s platform for humanitarian giving.
And then, there’s still AHACKATHON.
Written by : Gaynor Tanyang
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
JUNE 2021 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL REVIEW OF JUNE 2021
For the month of June 2021, a total of 53 disasters were reported. The ASEAN Member States affected were Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. A majority of the disasters (47.17%) occurred in Indonesia which also accounted for 31.23% of the total number of affected people for the month (Lao PDR-7.41%, the Philippines-55.73%, Thailand-4.52%, Viet Nam-0.23%). June 2021 saw disasters affecting 42 per 100,000 people* and displacing 4 per 100,000 people* in the region. June 2021 also accounted for roughly one-tenth (9.36%) of the total disasters and 44.1% of damage costs reported so far in the current year.
Most of the disasters that occurred in June 2021 were floods (45.28%) and this is consistent with June of the previous year and June on a five-year average (2016-2020). Floods for June 2021 impacted only a third (34%) of the total number of affected people with 56.34% affected by tropical cyclone-related hazards (floods, landslides, storms and winds). The reported disasters in the region for June 2021 in comparison with the historical data (average for June 2016-2020) indicates that there were 2.12x more reported disasters; 3x fewer people affected; 8.2x more people displaced; 1.76x more houses affected to some extent; 2.5x fewer lives lost; 1.5x fewer people suffering injuries; and lastly, 3.69x fewer people missing.
Geophysically, 16 significant earthquakes (Magnitude ≥ 5.0) were reported by Indonesia’s Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG) and the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). A Magnitude 6.1 earthquake that occurred 67 km Southeast of Central Maluku in week 24 caused a sea level rise of 0.5m according to the BMKG, damage to 233 houses and three places of worship, and displaced 8,800 persons into 56 evacuation centres. Volcanoes in Indonesia and the Philippines have shown recent activity but have not resulted in significant events and are continuously being monitored.
*Computed based on 2020 population data from worldometers.com
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), during June 2021, areas that received above-average rainfall were the western and central Maritime Continent (except Borneo), and northeastern parts of Mainland Southeast Asia. This agrees spatially with the disaster reports for the month of June. The largest positive anomalies (wetter conditions) were recorded over Java and northern Viet Nam (due to Tropical Storm Koguma). The eastern Maritime Continent predominately experienced below-average rainfall except for central parts of the Philippines due to the development of Tropical Storm Choi-Wan.
Tropical Storm Choi-Wan, locally known in the Philippines as “Dante”, caused flooding and damage mostly in the central Philippines. TS Choi-Wan was the third named storm of the 2021 Pacific typhoon season and originated from an area of low pressure south-southeast of Guam later fuelled by an environment favorable for tropical cyclogenesis according to the JTWC and JMA. TS Choi-Wan made a total of eight landfalls across the Philippines affecting a number of areas of the country from 1 June up until it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility on the 4 June. The storm reportedly claimed 11 lives, caused three injuries, affected 32,800 families (137,900 persons), and displaced 16,000 persons.
Southwest Monsoon conditions are expected to continue in July 2021 as the prevailing low-level winds over the ASEAN region strengthen and blow from the southeast or southwest, with the passage of the monsoon rain band further north of the equator in the second half of the month. The Southwest Monsoon season is the traditional dry season for the southern ASEAN region, which typically brings extended periods of dry conditions over the region. For the northern ASEAN region, the Southwest Monsoon is the traditional wet season.
For the July to September 2021 period, models predict an increased chance of above-normal rainfall for most of the equatorial ASEAN region from 8°N to 10°S. ENSO-neutral conditions are forecast to continue for the next three months. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is close to the negative state and models are forecasting a negative IOD for the July to September 2021 period. A negative IOD tends to bring above-average rainfall for the southern ASEAN region for this time of the year. Warmer-than-usual temperature is expected for most of the ASEAN region except for Borneo and southern Sumatra where near- to above-normal temperature is predicted.
The dry season for the southern ASEAN region is expected to extend from July to October 2021. During these months, isolated to scattered hotspots are likely during dry periods and widespread hotspots can be expected during extended dry periods, which may lead to an increased risk of transboundary haze occurrence. Nonetheless, due to predicted above-normal rainfall for the southern ASEAN region from July to September 2021, a recurrence of a similar 2015 (El Niño year) or a 2019 (positive IOD year) severe haze event is unlikely. Shower activities are expected to persist for the northern ASEAN region during this period, and help to subdue hotspot and smoke haze activities.
Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS), Cambodia National Committee on Disaster Management (NCDM), Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), Malaysia Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA), Myanmar Department of Disaster Management (DDM), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Thailand Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA), Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG), Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
Written by : Keith Paolo Landicho, Sadhu Zukhruf Janottama, Lawrence Anthony Dimailig
The AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations, and news agencies. Further information on each recorded significant disaster, description, and detail of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.
Vol 74 – THE ASEAN VILLAGE: TANGIBLE SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY FROM ASEAN AND PARTNERS FOR THE COMMUNITY IN PALU CITY
THE ASEAN VILLAGE:
TANGIBLE SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY FROM ASEAN AND PARTNERS FOR THE COMMUNITY IN PALU CITY
The AHA Centre and the local administration of Palu City, Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, has officially launched the ASEAN Village, consisting of 100 permanent houses, one mosque and one auxiliary health centre. The village is a sign of the tangible support from ASEAN Member States and partners in the spirit of One ASEAN One Response for the community, which was impacted by triple disasters in September 2018. The launch was held in a hybrid format, on-site in Palu with COVID-19 protocols in place, and virtually via Zoom.
Mr. Hadianto Rasyid, SE, the Mayor of Palu City, expressed his gratitude for the generous support from the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Government of the Philippines, the Government of Australia, Direct Relief and other supporters of the ASEAN Village. He also commended the AHA Centre for coordinating assistance for the ASEAN Village project and its contribution to the recovery programme in Central Sulawesi. “We’re very grateful that today the ASEAN Village is officially launched. We also thank all donors for their contributions and support for the people of Palu City,” Mr. Hadianto said during the launch.
The construction of the ASEAN Village started in August 2019. Under the first-phase construction, 75 permanent houses were handed over to the local administration in April 2020. The construction continued with an additional 25 permanent houses, a mosque, and an auxiliary health centre, all of which were handed over to the administration of Palu City in April 2021, five days before the start of Ramadhan, to allow for the facilities to be used immediately by the residents of the ASEAN Village and the surrounding areas. “The ASEAN Village provides solutions for the affected community who previously lived in temporary shelters,” Mr. Hadianto added.
ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, joining the launch virtually from Jakarta, expressed his hope that the ASEAN Village would provide the people of Palu with an opportunity for a safe environment to recover from the destructive impact of the disaster and to resume their livelihoods and day-to-day activities. “I am pleased to note that the ASEAN Village is part of the new development design of the city of Palu, strategically located in close proximity to key social infrastructure including schools, healthcare facilities and markets”.
The AHA Centre facilitated ASEAN’s collective response during the emergency response stage and subsequently in the early recovery phase, as well as in the rehabilitation and reconstruction period. For the development of the ASEAN Village, the AHA Centre worked closely with the Palu City administration as its direct counterpart and implementing partner, under the guidance of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB).
Joining the launch in Palu with her team, Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms. Adelina Kamal expressed her hope that the ASEAN Village could be included in the disaster-resilient village programme, which is an Indonesian government programme, in an effort to strengthen community resilience through community-based disaster risk-reduction efforts. “The ASEAN Village will have the resilience to adapt to, anticipate and deal with possible future disaster threats”, she said during the launch.
The AHA Centre also launched a book called “New Homes of Opportunities” that documents its experience and lessons over the past two years in building the ASEAN Village, and captures the thoughts and recommendations from the ASEAN Village’s supporters and survivors.
The official launch of the ASEAN Village was also attended by the Governor of Central Sulawesi Province Mr. Rusdi Mastura, and virtually via Zoom by the Ambassador of the Philippines to ASEAN H.E. Noel Servigon; Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN H.E. Pengiran Hairani Pengiran Tajuddin; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Counsellor Mr. Simon Ernst; Executive Vice President of Direct Relief Mr. Bhupi Singh; and ambassadors and representatives from ASEAN Member States as well as Dialogue Partners and partners of ASEAN.
Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo Credit: AHA Centre