Delegates kick off development of the ASEAN pre-disaster recovery guidelines

Sep 24, 2014

Discussing the practical measures that ASEAN governments can take to plan for revoery from disasters

[Nyaung Shwe – 24 September] Development professionals from ASEAN member states working in the area of disaster management met earlier this week and launched the process to develop guidelines that would help countries systematically plan for recovery from disasters before they strike.

The Consultation Workshop on ASEAN Guidelines on Recovery Planning was organized jointly by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The workshop builds upon a consultation held last year to begin work on the ASEAN Pre-disaster Recovery toolkit which is planned under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme for 2010-2015. The Government of the Union of Myanmar has agreed to lead the development of the ASEAN Guidelines on Recovery Planning.

The Guidelines will help accelerate recovery from a disaster by suggesting practical measures governments can take to plan for disaster recovery in the areas of policy, financing, coordination, and monitoring. More importantly, many of these measures can be put in place well before a disaster, giving new meaning to the word "disaster preparedness."

For instance, governments can establish stand-by contracts with construction firms who can then be quickly mobilized to repair public works after a disaster. Transfer mechanisms can also be designed that can allow subsidies for housing repair to be quickly delivered to qualified households, thereby reducing displacement and reconstruction delays. These are just two of many strategies that--if put in place before a disaster--allow recovery to begin much more quickly than is normally the case.

The Workshop was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Dr. Myat Myat Ohn Khin.

“Recovery is an important component in the disaster management cycle; especially it is the critical link between disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. Through disaster resilience recovery, we can prevent the future risks”, she said.

 “UNDP helps more than 80 countries to strengthen development gains in post-crisis countries by helping governments respond to disasters and mitigate the risk they pose; addressing the underlying causes of violence; reinforcing governance and the rule of law; supporting livelihoods; and by using short-term employment schemes that allow local people to rebuild critical infrastructure following disaster,” UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Office’s Sanny Jegillos Ramos said.

The draft guidelines will undergo further consultation with the ASEAN member states before being finalized in mid-2015.

UNDP is committed to support national efforts towards disaster risk reduction through its three-year country programme for Myanmar (2013-2015). To this end, UNDP is supporting mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into the government’s policies, strategies and plans through policy advice, capacity development of government officials, pilot interventions at community level and global and regional knowledge sharing, such as the ASEAN meeting on recovery planning.

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