ASEAN Delivers Solar Lanterns for Flood-affected Communities in Myanmar
Yangon, 3 August 2018 – Following Tropical Storm 11 (Son-Tinh), combined with the monsoon season in ASEAN region, several ASEAN Member States have been severely affected by floods. Since early July 2018, the Jakarta-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) has been closely monitoring the situation in the region and providing updates to ASEAN Member States as well as its partners and stakeholders. This is the first time for the AHA Centre providing humanitarian assistance to multiple countries at the same time. Last week following the Xe-Pian Xe-Nam Noy dam break in Lao PDR, the AHA Centre delivered two batches of ASEAN relief items to Lao PDR, flown in from its regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia.
As informed by Myanmar’s Department of Disaster Management (DDM) of Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, more than 28,000 households are affected. The affected population who live in rural areas are in need of lighting equipment due to lack of electricity. Based on this consideration, the AHA Centre has locally procured 12,000 portable solar lanterns worth approximately USD 78,000, as its initial batch of relief assistance. The Centre has also deployed In-Country Liaison Teams to provide operational support for both the National Disaster Management Office of Lao PDR and the Disaster Management Department of Myanmar.
The AHA Centre and DDM Myanmar have been working closely in monitoring disasters on a regular basis. Insofar, floods and landslides have been reported in nine states/regions in Myanmar, with four severely affected, namely Bago, Kayin, Mon, and Tanintharyi. In total, more than 130,000 people have been affected. A timely early warning, issued by national authorities, has enabled the Government of Myanmar to evacuate people in advance and reduce casualties. The Government of Myanmar has also provided aid such as food items and cash assistance. However, further support may be required as need assessment continues on the ground, to prepare for the early recovery process.
During the handover ceremony today in Yangon, Mr. Win Shwe, Yangon Director of Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Department, expressed his gratitude to the ASEAN’s solidarity facilitated by the AHA Centre, “We would like to thank the ASEAN community for the prompt response and solidarity. We would also like to thank the AHA Centre for its continuous support and fast response, under the spirit of One ASEAN One Response. This is the third time for me to personally work together with the AHA Centre. Last year in 2017, the AHA Centre provided generous humanitarian assistance for the displaced people in Rakhine State. Earlier this year, they provided technical assistance for the landfill fire in Yangon. The AHA Centre has been a long-time partner of DDM. On behalf of DDM, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and the people of Myanmar, I would like to express our gratitude for the support”.
On the same occasion, Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, stated that, “We would like to convey our heartfelt sympathy for the communities that have been affected by the floods. We would also like to commend the Government of Myanmar for its early warning and evacuation efforts as well as its ongoing relief operations. Myanmar is one of the most disaster-prone countries in ASEAN. Myanmar’s response to this year flooding has indicated how the country has progressed significantly in its disaster preparedness and response efforts.” She further added, “This initial batch of ASEAN relief items, in the form of solar lanterns for 12,000 affected families, represent tangible assistance and solidarity of the ASEAN countries. Our assistance may be modest, but we hope that the lanterns could lighten up the spirit of the communities affected by the floods in Myanmar”.
ASEAN countries that have been affected by flooding recently include the Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, as well as Lao PDR and Myanmar. Since its establishment in November 2011, the AHA Centre has responded to 22 emergencies in 7 ASEAN countries, including the ongoing missions in Lao PDR and Myanmar. One of the mandates of the AHA Centre is to develop a network of rapidly deployable team, known as the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT). Insofar, there are 256 registered ASEAN-ERAT members, including 26 trained members from Myanmar who can be activated as in-country ERAT personnel to facilitate ASEAN’s emergency response missions in Myanmar.
About the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre)
The AHA Centre is an inter-governmental organisation established by ten (10) ASEAN Member States on 17 November 2011 with the aim to facilitate cooperation and
coordination amongst 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. Through the support of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, the AHA Centre is managing the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN or DELSA to enable rapid mobilisation of ASEAN relief items from within and for the ASEAN Member States.
For more information regarding the AHA Centre, please contact:
Ms. Shintya Kurniawan
(Communications Officer of the AHA Centre)
Email : email@example.com
Mobile : +62 877 8545 1554