Preparing for Recovery and Building Resilience in ASEAN

Sep 16, 2016

After a two-day simulation exercise for Preparedness for Recovery, representatives from the Government of Myanmar and other ASEAN countries are taking steps to assess their disaster recovery readiness by using the ASEAN Disaster Recovery Reference Guide. The guide was approved by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management in April this year.

The simulation exercise was organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and with the support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

H. E. U Henry Van Thio, Vice President of the Republic of the Union Myanmar and the Chairperson of the National Natural Disaster Management Committee, said, “…despite the unpleasant memories of disasters, we can take disaster recovery as an opportunity to better protect from and prepare for future disasters. It is important to prepare for disaster recovery during normal time, which entails creating systems and procedures, as well as capacity building on recovery.”  

Mr Harmensyah, Deputy Minister of Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana of Indonesia said that stronger partnership among the ASEAN Member States is crucial to speed up disaster recovery.

“Sharing knowledge and experience will enhance the One ASEAN, One Response disaster management mechanism. The ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Working Group will continue its technical assistance for disaster-affected communities in Member States, as well as, it will later support disaster-affected communities from within and outside the region through a tangible and practical approach.”

Through a simulation exercise based on a fictional case study, participants identified key elements of a recovery strategy required to operationalize the guide. The role play exercise made participants more aware of pre-disaster planning that can improve swift recovery, anticipated challenges in conducting post-disaster needs assessment, and community participation which speeds up recovery.

Representatives from Indonesia shared their Post Disaster Recovery Index, a tool to measure and evaluate the performance or the success of the recovery process. Participants from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar shared their experiences and best practices in recovery.

“UNDP has been supporting the development of the ASEAN Disaster Recovery Reference Guide to help countries better prepare for recovery so that it can be an opportunity to build resilience and contribute to sustainable development. Through the ASEAN-UN Joint Strategic Plan of Action on Disaster Management, UNDP and its partners will support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response Work Programme (2016-2020), particularly in recovery,” said Mr Peter Batchelor, Country Director of UNDP Myanmar.

This event is a first step towards the objective of ensuring ASEAN countries have capacities to undertake swift recovery that is locally-driven and with sufficient resources as outlined in the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response 2016-2020.