Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Malaysia to play bigger role in humanitarian aid for Asean

Malaysia will have a more prominent role as a humanitarian aid centre in Asean once the Asean Disaster Emergency Stockpile Centre at the Royal Malaysian Airforce (RMAF) base in Subang becomes fully operational in February next year.

The executive director of the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), Said Faisal, said Malaysia was chosen as the hub for humanitarian aid logistics based on the country’s geographical location.

It functions as a centre for the collection and gathering of aid for countries hit by disasters.

Said said the setting up of the centre was proof of the continuous efforts by Asean to enhance efficiency in the handling of humanitarian aid, and ability to react quickly to any natural disasters in the region.

“This centre not only serves as a centre for gathering of humanitarian aid items, but the RMAF has also agreed to allow the use of its Charlie for the purpose,” he said recently.

Prior to the setting up of the centre, Said said, the AHA Centre had to limit collection of humanitarian aid as it did not have a proper place to keep them.

Meanwhile, Japan ambassador to Asean, Kimihiro Ishikane said Japan’s disaster management centre was willing to share the technology with AHA Centre.

“It will make AHA Centre become more effective and able to immediately detect natural disasters,” he added.

A member of Mercy Malaysia executive council, Dr Heng Aik Cheng said the centre would facilitate humanitarian aid missions carried out by the body as well as enable it to send more aid to disaster-stricken countries.


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