JAKARTA, 25 May 2022 — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) committed to promoting and developing engagement in the area of 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 provides the scope and main areas of cooperation between the IFRC and ASEAN on matters of mutual interest in the strengthening of community resilience at regional, national and local levels in the ASEAN region. It encompasses areas such as: disaster management, disaster risk reduction, disaster law, health in emergencies, disaster relief and emergency response, gender, youth, and climate change.

It 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 programmes. 

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

At the signing ceremony, the two sides expressed appreciation over the progress of cooperation between ASEAN and the IFRC. Recognising their mutually beneficial roles in building a disaster-resilient ASEAN Community, 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, Mr. Dato Lim emphasised 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.”  

Meanwhile, in his remarks, Mr. Chapagain stated that “through this partnership our common goal is to put communities in Southeast Asia at the centre by building individual and community capacities that help reduce humanitarian needs and avert loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.’’   

ASEAN Member States are 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.   

Finally, on the occasion of the GPDRR 2022, both sides expressed commitment to support the theme of GPDRR 2022 namely from Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a Covid-19 Transformed World and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. 

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