Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) in ASEAN – Experience of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
Organizer: Singapore Civil Defense Force
|Southeast Asia (SEA) is a region that is vulnerable and historically prone to catastrophic disasters ranging from earthquakes, tsunamis and meteorological disasters such as droughts, cyclones, floods and forest fires, leaving much devastation to human lives and infrastructure. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the only region in the world to sign a legal agreement to affirm the leaders’ commitment to promote regional cooperation towards managing disasters. The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) adopted and signed by the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) in 2005 led to the formation of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), the Sectoral body that oversees cooperation in disaster management, and the operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) in 2011. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is Singapore’s focal point for the ACDM, and will assume the position of ACDM Chair in 2021. SCDF is the first organisation in the Asia-Pacific region to be classified as a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) in 2008, with successful re-certification in 2013 and 2018. This classification is the highest level of recognition accorded to USAR Teams by the United Nations (UN). With this capability, SCDF maintains a dedicated contingent codenamed Operation Lionheart to provide USAR and other humanitarian relief assistance to countries afflicted by major disasters. Since its formation 1990, the contingent has been deployed 18 times throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In this session, SCDF will primarily discuss the facilitation and coordination of HADR efforts in the ASEAN context, and touch on key initiatives of the ACDM and AHA Centre in disaster preparedness and response. There will also be a sharing of SCDF’s experiences deployed to overseas humanitarian missions, and insights on emergency response communications with regards to disaster management and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
Abdul Razak Bin Abdul Raheem, Director, Corporate Communications Department, Singapore Civil Defence Force