Representatives of various offices of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) and its partners convened in Jakarta yesterday to discuss collaborative response to Typhoon Haiyan emergencies in the Philippines and the situation in Vietnam.
The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) together with the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives, ASEAN Defence Attaches, and ASEAN Dialogue Partners met at the AHA Centre in Jakarta yesterday.
"Within this week, ASEAN aims to distribute relief items including generators, mobile storage, and ASEAN Family Kits urgently needed to Tacloban," the ASEAN Secretariat said in a statement.
"We are focusing on the most desperately needed food and clean water. The AHA Centre has stockpile ready to go. Local procurement is also under way. A key impediment is logistics, as the airport was destroyed," the statement quoted ASEAN Secretary-General and ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator Le Luong Minh as saying. Earlier, Secretary-General Minh offered assistance to the Philippines in response to the devastation brought about by Haiyan.
"Knowing the impacts of the typhoon, this is the time for ASEAN to work together in the spirit of ASEAN's solidarity in mobilising assets and resources to provide our support to the government and people of the Philippines in this critical moment," Said Faisal, the Executive Director of AHA Centre explained.
AHA Centre has been closely monitoring the movement of the typhoon and put a field team on the ground before the typhoon landed on November 8. Assessment and additional teams have been on the ground to determine the type of assistance that can be mobilised through the ASEAN's channel.
Meanwhile, after leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan hit Vietnam on November 10 with heavy rains and strong wind and ASEAN is preparing to expand its relief operations to cover both countries.
The AHA Centre serves as the regional hub for disaster risk monitoring and analysis, and a coordination engine to ensure ASEAN's fast and collective response to disasters within the region.