In 2010, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) adopted ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme that contains the strategies for implementing AADMER. One of the flagship projects identified by the ACDM Working Group on Preparedness and Response was the “Establishment of a fully-functional ASEAN Emergency Response & Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT)”. The ASEAN-ERAT was envisioned to strengthen ASEAN’s preparedness and capacity to respond to disasters and ensure a rapid and collective deployment of ASEAN’s resources following a major disaster in one or more Member States within the ASEAN region. In additional to rapid assessment, ASEAN-ERAT roles will also include support logistics, emergency communication and coordination among others.
Under the leadership from Singapore, which was the lead shepherd country for the ASEAN-ERAT trainings, three ASEAN-ERAT Induction Coursers has been conducted. Following, the ACDM gave the responsibility to the AHA Centre in organising the 4th and 5th Induction Course in 2014 and 2015. Then, the Philippines hosted the 6th Induction Course in next year. It was recommended by the 2nd ASEAN-ERAT Advisory Group Meeting in 2016 that the ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course should be hosted by different ASEAN Member States every year to ensure a wider participation of the AMS.
Following the above recommendation, the AHA Centre with the support from the ASEAN Member States conducted the 7th ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course on 24 April – 1 May 2017 in Malaysia. The main objective of the 7th ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course was to prepare regional responders to have experience in emergency management and coordination, also to enable them to respond towards major disasters in the ASEAN region. Participants of the course were representatives from ASEAN Member States, AADMER Partnership Group, partner organisations, ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Centre.
These participants are all qualified and experienced in disaster and emergency management and coordination in their respective countries. From the Induction Course provided, it is with great hope that the ASEAN-ERAT members are all certified to perform the function in the area of coordination, assessment, information management, information and communication telecommunication and logistics.
As a side event during the occasion, the AHA Centre received in-kind support from Direct Relief (California-based NGO). Mr Gordon Wilcock (Direct Relief) symbolically handed over the family hygiene kit to Mr Arnel Capili (Dir of Ops, AHA Centre) in WFP/UNHRD’s warehouse in Subang, Malaysia.