The AHA Centre is an intergovernmental organisation, established by the ten ASEAN Member States with the aim to facilitate cooperation and coordination of disaster management amongst ASEAN Member States. The Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management was signed by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 17 November 2011, and witnessed by the Heads of State / Government of all ten ASEAN countries. In operationalising its mandate, the AHA Centre primarily works with the National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of the ASEAN Member States. Furthermore, the AHA Centre also partners with international organisations, private sector, and civil society organisations, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the United Nations, and AADMER Partnership Group.
Multilateral cooperation has been also established with ASEAN Dialogue/ Development/ Sectoral Partners, including Australia, China, European Union, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States of America. In the event of large-scale disasters, such as 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the AHA Centre works closely with the Secretary – General of ASEAN who will perform the role as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator to mobilise more resources and coordinate with ASEAN Leaders and partners world wide.
Furthermore, the AHA Centre reports its progress and activities to the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) on a regular basis. The ACDM members consist of heads of NDMOs of the ten ASEAN Member States who serve as the Governing Board of the AHA Centre. Additionally, there are two high-level commitments that re-affirm the role of the AHA Centre as the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response, which are: 1) The ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response: Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region and 2) ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management.