ASEAN and the IFRC partner to strengthen community resilience in Southeast Asia

By Association of Southeast Asian Nations

ASEAN and the IFRC partner to strengthen community resilience in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have committed to promoting and developing their engagement in disaster management with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASEAN and the IFRC on the Strengthening of Community Resilience in Southeast Asia.

The MOU outlines the scope and areas of cooperation between the IFRC and ASEAN to strengthen community resilience at regional, national, and local levels in the ASEAN region, including in areas such as disaster management, disaster risk reduction, disaster law, health in emergencies, disaster relief and emergency response, gender, youth, and climate change. This agreement also marks a significant milestone in ASEAN’s longstanding cooperation with the IFRC which has supported the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and its work programs.

The MOU was signed by the ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi and the IFRC Secretary-General, Mr. Jagan Chapagain, at the sidelines of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in Bali, Indonesia, on the presence of the representatives of the ACDM and the representatives of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

At the Signing Ceremony, the two leaders expressed appreciation for the progress of cooperation between ASEAN and the IFRC. Recognizing ASEAN and IFRC’s mutually beneficial roles in strengthening climate adaptation and disaster resilience in vulnerable communities in Southeast Asia, both ASEAN and the IFRC look forward to the implementation of the MOU through collaborative projects in the AADMER Work Programme 2021-2025.

In his remarks, Dato Lim emphasized that “in the face of increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters due to climate change, in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions, coupled with an increasingly complex humanitarian landscape, we must build strategic partnerships to enhance our resilience as one ASEAN community.”

Mr. Chapagain’s speech reiterated that “through this partnership, our common goal is to put communities in Southeast Asia at the center by building individual and community capacities that help reduce humanitarian needs and avert loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.”

ASEAN countries are located in one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, ranging from earthquakes, floods, landslides, and typhoons. The wide geographic stretch of incidences and increasing frequency and intensity of disasters due to climate change require ASEAN to enhance the region’s readiness and emergency response capacity.