The Singapore Red Cross Society (SRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) organized the Southeast Asia launch for the “2013 World Disasters Report (WDR),” an annual IFRC research publication that provides an opportunity to reflect on specific themes and expert opinions related to disasters and disaster management. Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, the launch event was held on October 17 at the YWCA Fort Canning Lodge in Singapore. This year’s WDR focused on technology and the future of humanitarian action, and examined the potential of technology to improve humanitarian operations and increase the disaster resilience of communities.
Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) Southeast Asia Program Advisor Victoria Leat was invited to support the event as a panelist. Leat provided an overview of PDC programs and activities in the region, specifically focusing on those that enhance information flow and system interoperability, and promote data sharing between and among disaster risk reduction (DRR) stakeholders. Leat joined a diverse panel of speakers including Microsoft’s Asia Time Zone Lead for Worldwide Public Safety and National Security Arthur Thomas “A.T.” Ball, IFRC Asia Pacific Director Jagan Chapagain, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) associate faculty member Dr. Maya Arii, and the Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) Oliver Lacey-Hall. Channel NewsAsia International Desk Editor Augustine Anthuvan chaired the event.
In the audience, there were more than 100 invited members of the press, including representatives of the Wall Street Journal. The journalists engaged in a lively discussion with the panelists, providing Leat the opportunity to share details of PDC’s many experiences and activities in Southeast Asia.