ASEAN’s response to disaster
By Tavida Kamolvej
Southeast Asia shares a number of disaster risks which have increased in frequency over the past decade. Not only do disasters ignore national borders, but humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) for the communities affected are increasingly coordinated at the regional level.
Towards the integration of the Asean Community, regional mechanisms on disaster risk have established more systematic and coherent oversight for all phases of disaster governance. This includes prevention and mitigation efforts; countries being better prepared; developing systems to provide relief to affected communities; and more investment in recovery efforts to build communities back better.
Guiding Frameworks & Recent Developments
The effort has long been supported by allies and partners both financially and non-financially in the international community. These developments have been guided by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction introduced back in 2015. The Sendai Framework improves understanding and sets out more practical tasks for all countries committed to achieving the disaster risk reduction goals.
It follows on from the Hyogo Framework, which was the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction between 2005 and 2015 to reduce disaster losses in terms of lives, and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries affected by disasters the world over.
Currently there is a pilot risk data platform at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) based in Khlong Luang, near Bangkok, which offers a way to systemise the management of the top disaster risks that the region shares. A regional and multinational system can be built upon the existing main system at AIT where scientific data for risk simulation and modelling exists.
This offers a potential pathway forward to realise Asean as a global leader in disaster management by 2025 as outlined in its Asean Vision 2025 on Disaster Management.