Two Mercy Relief (MR) personnel participated in the 3rd ASEAN-Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) Training Course last week, conducted by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), in cooperation with the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA).  The Singapore-born humanitarian NGO was invited to be better acquainted with the principles, philosophy, scope and systems of the ERAT mechanism, and in tandem, share its own experiences with the other participants.

The seven-day course aimed to prepare participants, comprising officers from the National Disaster Management Organisations of the 10 ASEAN governments, as ASEAN-ERAT responders to support disaster-affected Member States in the acute phases of the disasters, which include conducting rapid assessments, coordinating alongside local authorities for the deployment of regional disaster management assets and, providing logistics support for receiving humanitarian goods and assistance to the  affected areas.

“In the context of a people-oriented ASEAN, NGOs could play a critical role in the process of integration and building a disaster-resilient ASEAN region.  One of the most significant takeaways from the Course was the networking between relevant players which helped establish goodwill within the humanitarian community of ASEAN, such that the players are no strangers when called upon to respond collectively,” shared participant Tsai Pi Kuang, MR’s Head of Outreach & Resource.

A more synchronised and effective intervention – involving local, national, regional-born humanitarian actors which complements one another – would lead to a more efficient deployment of resources, which incidentally helps avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources.

Pi Kuang added, “In any emergency, effective intervention or response refers to the ability to react swiftly and appropriately, which hinge on the preparedness of the response units – both individually and collectively.

 

The ERAT Course conducted by the SCDF comprised classroom lectures, outdoor activities and simulated disaster response scenarios.

 

MR’s Khairul (left, in white top) and Pi Kuang (right, in blue top) were involved in the disaster response simulations alongside officers from the NDMOs of the 10 ASEAN countries.   

MR’s Chief Executive Hassan presenting AHA Centre’s Executive Director Said Faisal with a token of goodwill (Panda Sun Sun) in appreciation of the inclusion of MR personnel for the ERAT training.

Building goodwill and understanding for better response.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org