AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION
The Government of Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), highlights humanitarian aid as a key priority within its international development efforts. Disaster risk reduction, emergency relief, and reconstruction are the three pillars of the SDC’s humanitarian activities, therefore aligning them strongly with the AHA Centre’s role in the ASEAN region. Throughout the last few years the SDC and AHA Centre have worked on a range of activities aiming to advance the ASEAN region’s disaster management practices and processes, forming the base of this key strategic partnership between the two bodies.
As part of this partnership, in 2018 the SDC supported the AHA Centre on the implementation of a real-time earthquake disaster response simulation, together with the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM – as covered in the Column Volume 48), which facilitated the AHA Centre staff to implement internal preparedness and response mechanisms, and included a review and evaluation following the scenario. SDC has also provided support through a range of expertise and consultations within AHA Centre programming, including two for the ARDEX-18 Referee Training in July 2018, and the implementation of ARDEX-18 in later in November. The experts were not only engaged directly in the activities, but also supported performance reviews of the AHA Centre’s emergency operations functions once the event had finished.
Additionally, Switzerland also provided funding support during 2018 to facilitate the AHA Centre’s participation in the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Mongolia, also ensuring best practices from the region could be highlighted at this important event. Such support and engagement is of high importance for the AHA Centre, as it allows for a united and strong ASEAN voice on the international disaster management stage. This importance was further strengthened by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal when she stated recently that.
“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS OF THE AHA CENTRE IS TO ENABLE THE ASEAN REGION TO ACHIEVE ITS VISION OF BECOMING THE GLOBAL LEADER ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT BY THE YEAR 2025. WE HIGHLY APPRECIATE THAT THE SWISS GOVERNMENT AS THE HOME OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN COMMUNITY SEES THIS IMPORTANCE AND HAS HELPED ASEAN THROUGH THE AHA CENTRE CLIMB THAT LADDER BY CONNECTING US WITH OTHER REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN COMMUNITY”
Written by: Wiliam Shea | Photo : AHA Centre, SDC