The AHA Centre is proud to partner with Direct Relief – a humanitarian aid organisation with experience throughout more than 80 nations worldwide. Direct Relief leverages its status as a licenced and accredited distributor of pharmaceuticals to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies –providing medical aid, particularly in times of disaster. Direct Relief has also utilised its years of experience in disaster response to design and implement standardised solutions such as emergency response packs and medical facility modules that help address the needs of vulnerable communities before and after disaster strikes. In 2016, the AHA Centre and Direct Relief signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI), with the three-year partnership resulting in a range of benefits for both parties, as well as the communities of ASEAN facing disaster.
Direct Relief’s approach to disasters focuses on supporting the immediate needs of communities by working with local partners and governments to determine required solutions based on each unique emergency situation. Their disaster response priorities include emergency logistics, equipping first responders, and bolstering existing medical systems, considering the specific needs of displaced persons, and being flexible based on disaster and location. Such aims align with those of the AHA Centre, and were reflected in the aims of the 2016 MOI which included:
● Access for the AHA Centre to in-kind (donations) of pharmaceuticals, medicines, medical equipment and supplies;
● The opportunity to stockpile and prepare such medical materials;
● Collaborative disaster preparedness working arrangements that support the AHA Centre with the identification of medical materials commonly required during disaster response, and supporting the efficient access to such materials when required;
● The collaborative development of a framework to engage corporate entities, such as medical suppliers, for stockpiling, funding and understanding medical supplies, that will in turn support the overall emergency preparedness and response mechanisms of the AHA Centre;
● Organising and engaging in information and knowledge-sharing activities between the partners, as well as externally, and Direct Relief providing the AHA Centre access to its own relevant resources and knowledge management that may support the AHA Centre’s operations.
More recently, the partnership has evidenced its value during the range of disaster responses coordinated by the AHA Centre during 2018 – particularly during the large-scale response and recovery efforts after the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami during late 2018 and early 2019. Direct Relief identified a need for the procurement and development of specific health needs within a number of the region’s disaster-affected communities, and through the AHA Centre provided a direct injection of USD 50,000 for a latrine project. The support resulted in the development of 120 latrine units across 12 locations, having a significant impact on positive health outcomes for the people during the recovery phase. During the response, the AHA Centre also facilitated Direct Relief to provide support communicating with the Government of Indonesia and local NGO partners, to ensure smooth and suitable delivery of support in the affected region.
Direct Relief has also recently highlighted an interest in supporting the AHA Centre’s ASEAN Resilient Village project taking place during Central Sulawesi’s recovery stage. With 2019 marking the end of the current MOI, the AHA Centre and Direct Relief – in recognition of the valuable partnership – have already begun talks to continue and expand their working relationship. There are an array of potential opportunities and mutual values that may be addressed outside of the current agreement, and both parties hope to finalise the continuance of the partnership in the coming months.
Written by: Carla Budiarto, William Shea | Photo : Direct Relief