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Pacific Disaster Center and AHA Centre formalize long-standing partnership, sign Memorandum of Intent

June 21, 2017

Pacific Disaster Center Executive Director Ray Shirkhodai and Acting Executive Director of AHA Centre Adelina Kamal shake hands after signing Memorandum of Intent.


Following more than a decade of collaboration to enhance disaster management capacities in the Southeast Asia region, the Pacific Disaster Center—Managed by the University of University of Hawaiʻi—and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), signed an official Memorandum of Intent on June 5, 2017. The memorandum aims to strengthen the two centers’ ongoing partnership in advancing disaster risk reduction and regional cooperation, including steps to advance the vision of One ASEAN, One Response.

“Today, we are proud of our 13 year-old collaboration and partnership to enhance early warning, disaster management, and humanitarian assistance capabilities in the region. At this signing, we are thankful and filled with hope and inspiration to continue working with our most valued partners to advance a worthy cause for all people in the region,” said Ray Shirkhodai, Executive Director of Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), during the signing ceremony at AHA Centre in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

The signing ceremony was held at AHA Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia, with the AHA Centre’s Acting Executive Director, Adelina Kamal, and PDC’s Executive Director Shirkhodai, and it was witnessed, left to right, by ADR Malyn Tumonong of ASEAN Secretariat; Diman Simanjuntak of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN; and the Secretary-General of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), Dody Ruswandi representing the AHA Centre Board of Governors. The ceremony was also attended by the ranking members of the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (U.S.-ASEAN PROGRESS).

Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Executive Director of AHA Centre Adelina Kamal said that the AHA Centre has benefited from the strong support of all of its partners, adding that, “The U.S. Government and PDC were among the first few early partners to support the AHA Centre even before it was established five years ago to facilitate cooperation and coordination of disaster management and emergency response among ASEAN member states.”

PDC’s collaboration with ASEAN started at the launching of the ASEAN Regional Program on Disaster Management in Bali, Indonesia, April 2004.  Just months prior to the catastrophic Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami that killed over two hundred thousand people and displaced millions, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and PDC had agreed to collaborate on technology for early warning and disaster monitoring, making a commitment to enhance disaster risk reduction throughout the region.

Since that time, funding and support from USAID has helped PDC and the AHA Centre realize their commitment to work side-by-side for the common good and to achieve many successful outcomes including, but not limited to: The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Program for Risk Assessment, Early Warning, and Monitoring Activity (2010-2015); the AHA Centre Information Communication Technology (ICT) Gap Analysis; and the complete implementation of a Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) powered by PDC’s DisasterAWARE™ platform. 

Commenting on the new agreement and long-standing partnership, University of University of Hawaiʻi President Dr. David Lassner said, "This is an unprecedented and exemplary effort that demonstrates how global collaboration and public-private partnerships can save lives, reduce risk, and advance prosperity for generations to come."

PDC and AHA Centre are already collaborating on new endeavors to support such causes, including a project to conduct a regional risk assessment for the 10 ASEAN Member States to inform sound policies for risk reduction across the region. For more information about the AHA Centre and partnership with PDC, visit the AHA Centre Website.  

More from Pacific Disaster Center

To keep yourself up-to-the-minute about hazards and disasters:

For the latest Weather and Disaster News, use the PDC Weather Wall.

While you are thinking of hazards, think of preparedness. PDC provides disaster preparedness information, including printable instructions for assembling a Disaster Supply Kit and rehearsing a Family Disaster Plan.

For more information on DisasterAWARETM products:

  • For details, see the Training Guide for Web-accessible Disaster Alert,
  • Read and understand more about custom versions, such as DMRS and VinAWARE,
  • Watch the ASEAN DMRS video on YouTube.

About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.