Enhancing the Readiness of Myanmar Government Local Capacity in Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Support the Repatriation Process

Proponent : Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Myanmar
Implementing Agency : The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (the AHA Centre), Indonesia


Among the first activities to support the voluntary, safe, secure, and dignified return of displaced persons to Rakhine State was the preliminary needs assessment conducted on 4-13 May 2019 by an ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) comprising personnel from the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), ASEAN Secretariat, and the AHA Centre. The report identifies three potential areas of collaboration, namely: enhancing capacity of reception and transit centres; strengthening information dissemination; and support to the provision of basic services. As immediate follow-up actions, a technical working group to coordinate the implementation of the recommendations from the initial assessment was established and held twice as of 30 November 2019 and a local capacity building programme referencing ASEAN-ERAT methodologies to support the repatriation process will be implemented. The latter provided the impetus for the implementation of this project.

Since 2016, the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) has supported the AHA Centre in the implementation of the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Project Phase 1. The JAIF project has contributed to the enhancement of ASEAN-ERAT Guidelines, deployment procedures, and training of trainers, among others. Furthermore, it has supported the 9th ASEAN-ERAT course in Myanmar resulting to 28 ASEAN-ERAT members in Myanmar.

What is the project aiming for?

The project Enhancing the Readiness of Myanmar Government Local Capacity in Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Support the Repatriation Process intends to build on these gains by increasing the quality and quantity of trained personnel in Myanmar using the existing pool of ASEAN-ERAT members in Myanmar as trainers/facilitators and adapt ASEAN-ERAT methodology into the local context. It proposes to undertake the following:

  • Strengthen local capacities in the areas of needs assessment, logistics management, coordination, and reception and transit centres management through a customized training programme referencing on basic ASEAN-ERAT tools and mechanisms;
  • Strengthen cyclone disaster preparedness planning for Rakhine State by reviewing and revising the Contingency Plan for Cyclone Preparedness in Rakhine State; and
  • Raise awareness and understanding through familiarization meetings among decision-makers in Myanmar on current initiatives, policies, ASEAN guidelines relevant to the Government of Myanmar’s desire to ensure a safe and secure environment for all communities in Rakhine State and to facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons to Myanmar in a safe, secure, and dignified way.

We reaffirmed our support for a more visible and enhanced role of ASEAN to support Myanmar in providing humanitarian assistance, facilitating the repatriation process and promoting sustainable development in Rakhine State. We welcomed the opportunity to communicate ASEAN’s efforts to facilitate the repatriation process with the displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar. We appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of ASEAN in leading the implementation of the recommendations of the ASEAN-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) to facilitate the repatriation of displaced persons in Rakhine State.

Chairman’s Statement of the 35th ASEAN Summit
3 November 2019
Bangkok, Thailand

This project demonstrates the collaboration among the ASEAN-ERAT members particularly in Myanmar, the AHA Centre, and the ASEAN Secretariat. Not only will the project enhance the local capacity of Myanmar officials to facilitate repatriation process and strengthen disaster preparedness in Rakhine State, but it will also serve as a model to replicate local capacity building in other AMSs.

Overall, this project contributes to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020 specifically under the Priority Programme 6, Equip: Enhanced Capacities for One ASEAN One Response.

As of 30 November 2019

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