AHA Centre and the Republic of Korea Launch the ASCEND Programme to Enhance Professionalism in Disaster Management in the ASEAN Region
Jakarta, 22 September 2020 – The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (The AHA Centre) with the support from Republic of Korea (ROK) launched ‘ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management’ or in short, the ASCEND project. The three-year project includes a USD 3.3 million grant funded by the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund (AKCF) for enhancing the capacity of ASEAN Member States in disaster management through standardisation and certification.
Speaking at the virtual launching event, the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms Adelina Kamal, highlighted that the focus of the ASCEND programme is to certify disaster management professionals based on the agreed ASEAN standards. “Through this project, we want to validate skilful and competent professionals in disaster management to contribute to the realisation of ASEAN vision to become a global leader in disaster management by the year 2025,” Ms Adelina said. By ensuring high-quality standards of ASEAN human resources, she believes that the vision to turn ASEAN as a global leader in disaster management will become one step closer to reality.
As one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, the ASEAN region is not lacking in experience and expertise in disaster management. The region is home to both the global champion (Indonesia) and regional champion (Philippines) for disaster risk reduction. ASEAN is also home to two heavy urban Search And Rescue (SAR) certified teams: the SMART team of Malaysia and the Lionheart team of Singapore. In addition, the BASARNAS of Indonesia has been recently certified as a medium urban SAR team.
The AHA Centre will implement the ASCEND project with expert support and experience sharing from the Korea National Fire Agency. Collaboration between the two organisations will be a showcase of positive partnership between the ROK and the AHA Centre. One thing that ASEAN can learn from Korea is the development and management of the Korea Disaster Relief Team, which has also been certified as a heavy SAR team by the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).
The launch of the ASCEND programme was held virtually on 22 September 2020 by the Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN H.E. Lim Sungnam, and the Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms Adelina Kamal. Other guests witnessing the launch include Ambassadors and representatives from ASEAN Member States’ and the ASEAN Dialogue Partners’ missions in Jakarta, representatives from the National Disaster Management Organisations of the ASEAN Member States, and partners of the AHA Centre.
About the AHA Centre:
The AHA Centre is an inter-governmental organisation established by ten ASEAN Member States on 17 November 2011 with the aim to facilitate cooperation and coordination amongst the ASEAN Member States and with relevant United Nations and international organisations in promoting regional collaboration in disaster management. The AHA Centre is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
For more information regarding the AHA Centre and ASCEND, please download the brochure here or please contact:
Mochammad Syifa/ Communications Officer
Mobile: +62 81553514882