Call to enhance emergency response skills

|    James Kon    |

THE increase in the frequency and magnitude of natural disasters within the region has challenged the adequacy of existing management and response capabilities, said Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) Mohd Amir Hairil bin Haji Mahmud.

The permanent secretary was delivering a speech during yesterday’s official launching of the 11th ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) induction course at the CAE-Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre in Rimba, Gadong.

“It is crucial for us to continuously enhance the competencies and skills of regional responders in disaster management,” he said.

In his speech, the permanent secretary also lauded the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), saying, “On behalf of the MoHA and the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), I would like to thank the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on

Disaster Management for their continuous efforts in promoting better coordination and response in disaster management, especially in the contest of capacity-building among ASEAN member states (AMS).”

AHA-Centre Executive Director Adeline binti Kamal
Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Mohd Amir Hairil bin Haji Mahmud launches the induction course. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON

He then thanked the Japanese government for its continuous support through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, “The contributions have enabled courses like this to be conducted regularly among other initiatives, such as establishing an emergency logistics system, to name a few”.

The launch was witnessed by AHA-Centre Executive Director Adeline binti Kamal and NDMC Director Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Maiddin bin Pengiran Haji Said.

During the week-long course, the participants are expected to increase their understanding of ASEAN’s procedures in disaster management and emergency response, while applying the ASEAN-ERAT functionalities and its methodologies in a simulation exercise.

The ASEAN-ERAT induction course was first introduced in 2010, with the clear objective of training selected ASEAN personnel to give support to affected areas during major sudden disasters within the region.

Since then, 274 people have been trained as active members of ASEAN-ERAT.

Within eight days, another 30 individuals – including eight people from Brunei Darussalam – will become members of ASEAN-ERAT, bringing the membership tally to 304.