EU-SAHA THROUGH THE EUROPEAN UNION
The Integrated Programme in Enhancing the Capacity of AHA Centre and ASEAN Emergency Response Mechanisms, known as the EU-SAHA programme, is an initiative aimed to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of the AHA Centre in order to achieve operational excellence in disaster monitoring and emergency response, as well as enhance mechanisms for ASEAN leadership to ‘respond as one’ through excellence and innovation in disaster management.
Funded through a partnership with the European Union, the programme is being implemented across four years from December 2019 to December 2023, utilising a total fund amount of EUR 7.2 million. The EU has also awarded funding to the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency and the Estonian Rescue Board to complement activities directly implemented by the AHA Centre through this programme, in the form of the Leveraging ASEAN Capacities for Emergency Response (LACER) project. LACER will be implemented with an overall focus on institutional capacity development to augment sustainability and utilisation of AHA Centre’s operational capacity. The project is also aligned with the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action (2018-2022), more specifically within the “Enhance cooperation on Crisis and Disaster Management” objective found within the plan.
The AHA Centre also forms the operational counterpart of the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) under the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO). These above initiatives and more will enable ASEAN and the European Union to further strengthen their partnership in disaster management and disaster risk reduction across their respective regions, through a sustained longer-term institutional collaborative effort that is in line with their commitments and obligations at the global level. The launching ceremony for the EU-SAHA programme was held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 27 January 2020. The Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the Ambassador of European Mission to ASEAN H.E. Igor Driesmans, and the Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms Adelina Kamal were all in attendance at the opening ceremony.
The AHA Centre is utilising a multi-level approach to implement the programme, which is undertaken by engaging at national, regional, and inter-regional levels within ASEAN and the EU. At the regional level, the AHA Centre focuses on the implementation of regional activities that involve all ASEAN Member States, which is also in line with the AADMER Work Programme and the AHA Centre Work Plan, alongside other key documents on disaster management that have been adopted by ASEAN Leaders. At national level, it focuses on facilitation of required training and activities aimed to increase the capacity and capabilities of Member States on disaster management, with the National Disaster Management Organisations forming the main national focal points. On the inter-regional level, the key focus is the exchange of knowledge and training between the AHA Centre and the ASEAN Member States with relevant EU and UN institutions, and other international organisations. The primary aim at this level is to enhance skills and capacity to prepare for responding both inside and outside the regions.
Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo : AHA Centre