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The Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre (MDMC) was established in response to the series of large disasters in Indonesia leading up to the significant 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake. It initially formed as an ad-hoc team to support the response and recovery after the big earthquake and other disasters. After the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, the team then worked with other groups in the Muhammadiyah network to engage in disaster responses after other natural disasters. The Muhammadiyah organisation then affirmed the team to become an official body under the Muhammadiyah Central Board, and finally to be recognised as the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre (MDMC) in 2010.

Inspired by the wide network of Muhammadiyah (Islamic organisation) members across Indonesia, as well as in response to Indonesia’s extensive disaster vulnerabilities, the MDMC was formed to overcome disaster impacts, educate communities, and prevent future damage from natural disaster in the country. The MDMC is also committed to developing disaster countermeasure and mitigation programmes that are based on responsive and professional activities under the regulations of Muhammadiyah itself. The MDMC is committed to working beyond the exclusive boundaries of region, religion, race, ethnicity and community group.

Ms Rahmawati Husein, Deputy Chairperson of the MDMC, explained that the MDMC has recently begun to broaden its networks internationally. Although MDMC has never jointly worked together with the AHA Centre, she stated that MDMC has been involved in humanitarian actions and disaster management at the regional level. “The MDMC has been involved in several disaster responses across the region, such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, and the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar during 2016-2017” she said.

Response has become the strength of the MDMC, as it utilises Muhammadiyah’s wide networks across Indonesia and some Southeast Asian countries, allowing MDMC to respond quickly to provide assistance. Additionally, Muhammadiyah is also known for its excellent health facilities and experts who are very valuable within disaster response. “During our mission to Myanmar in 2017, for example, we deployed 54 medical team members to provide health services to the affected communities,” Rahmawati highlighted.

In addition to international collaboration, MDMC was also invited to be one of the speakers in ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management “Building ASEAN’s Resiliency to Disaster” during August 2019 in Singapore. During this event, Rahmawati, as the representative of the MDMC, shared best practices and experiences from MDMC in strengthening local networks in Indonesia, particularly in regards to disaster management and response.

Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo : MDMC