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Developing capacities at national level in an ongoing, face-to-face format ensures intensive and targeted capacity development of disaster management actors in ASEAN Member States – an outcome that forms the central reasoning of the new AHA Centre project office in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Working alongside Myanmar’s Department of Disaster Management (its National Disaster Management Organisation – NDMO), the AHA Centre and the Government of Myanmar aim to strengthen the nation’s disaster management sector through this pilot project, that will also stand as evidence for replication in other nations in the years to come.

Identifying comprehensive and durable solutions that address the situation in Rakhine, Myanmar formed a key need highlighted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, November 2018. Within this discussion arose the importance of creating a conducive environment for affected communities to rebuild their lives. During the Summit, all ASEAN Leaders also expressed continued support for Myanmar in its effort to bring peace, stability, the rule of law, to promote harmony and reconciliation among various communities, as well to ensure sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State.

As part of this ongoing effort, ASEAN Leaders also affirmed their readiness to support Myanmar in the process of repatriating displaced communities, and welcomed the invitation from Myanmar to the AHA Centre to engage a needs assessment team to the region, in an effort to identify possible areas of cooperation to facilitate the repatriation process in Rakhine State. As a result, the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) was deployed to Myanmar to conduct a preliminary need assessment (PNA) for repatriation during March 2019. A key finding from the PNA was the opportunity to enhance the readiness of Myanmar Government’s local capacity to provide humanitarian assistance as part of the repatriation process. Based on this outcome, a project was approved for implementation in Myanmar, through the ongoing support of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

This pioneer project, entitled “Enhancing the Readiness of Myanmar Government Local Capacity in Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Support the Repatriation Process“, aims to develop localised tools and methodologies that can then serve as a reference and model for future local capacity building programmes across other ASEAN Member States. More formally, the project has three key goals that are:

Therefore, a project management team has been recruited in Myanmar, and have begun their work alongside the Department of Disaster Management in Nay Pyi Taw. The team is currently made-up of a National Project Manager, a National Training Officer, and a Finance & Administration Officer, who will implement the project’s activities and strategy with support from the AHA Centre team based in Jakarta, as well as guidance from the Government of Myanmar and the other 9 ASEAN Member States.



Written by : Aye Theint Thu | Photo Credit : AHA Centre