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As part of its 9th Anniversary, the AHA Centre recently implemented its own Partnership Forum, that was aptly named Transforming through Uncertainty. The forum was organised to reflect on the strong support provided to the AHA Centre’s journey by ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat and its other humanitarian partners. The forum was also an opportunity for the AHA Centre to continue re-defining itself, in efforts to adapt and transform to remain agile and engaged, particularly with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and other challenges.

The forum was attended by 109 participants from nearly 40 partner organisations. The Executive Director of AHA Centre, Ms Adelina Kamal; the Chair of the Governing Board to the AHA Centre, Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of the Philippines; and the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E Dato Lim Jock Hoi, all offered their welcome remarks to open the forum.

The event was divided into two dialogue sessions, each with a specific theme, namely Celebrating Partnership, and Renewed and Future Partnerships. Session 1 speakers included five representatives from foreign government offices and international organisations, namely: the Ambassador of Australia to ASEAN, H.E Will Nankervis; Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam, Mission to ASEAN, Mr Hans Farnhammer; Deputy Head of Mission of Japan to ASEAN, Mr Yoshi Kodama; First Secretary of the Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN, Mr Lee Soohong; Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor Leste, and ASEAN, H.E Kurt Kunz, and; Deputy Director of Emergency Response of Direct Relief, Mr Gordon Wilcock, PhD.

These representatives – through their government and organisations – support current and ongoing AHA Centre projects including:

Strengthening the AHA Centre’s Capability to Respond Effectively to Human Induced Crises (Australia)

Integrated Programme for Enhancing the Capacity of AHA Centre and ASEAN Emergency Response Mechanism (European Union)

Disaster Emergency Logistic System for ASEAN (DELSA) Phase II (Japan)

ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) (Republic of Korea)

Cooperation on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (Switzerland)

Enhancing DELSA Satellite Warehouses (Switzerland and Direct Relief)

ASEAN Village in Central Sulawesi (Australia and Direct Relief, complementing Brunei Darussalam and Philippines’ support)

Session 2 provided an opportunity for the new and existing partners to share their insights on the existing gaps for humanitarian issues in the region, and insights on their expectations for partnerships and future engagement with the AHA Centre. Five panelists were invited to shared their opinions, including: First Secretary in Development Section of the Mission of Canada to ASEAN, Mr Abdullah Mojaddedi; Deputy Head of Mission of France to ASEAN, Ms Myriam Saint-Pierre; Chief Executive Officer of RedR Australia, Ms Kirsten Sayers; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Indonesia and ASEAN, H.E Benedetto Latteri, and; Executive Director of the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), Mr Ray Shirkhodai.

The Forum was closed with a presentation and introduction of the new AHA Centre project proposals that include:

1. Future Disaster Emergency Logistics System and Digital Transformation for ASEAN (DELSA-Transformed);

2. Enhancing ASEAN Member States’ Government Local Capacity through Local Capacity Building Programme (Go-Local);

3. Future Strengthening of Capacities of ASEAN Disaster Management Professionals in Emergency Response and in Building Resilience (FutureScape), and;

4. Learning Management System in Disaster Management (ASEAN-Learn).

Written by : Yuniarti Wahyuningtyas | Photo Credit : AHA Centre