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LACER at the GPDRR 2022

The AHA Centre, together with the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), co-organised a side event as part of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2022.

"No matter how much we try to protect ourselves from disaster risk, we are in a race against both ourselves and the multiple threats with which we are faced going forward." says Oliver Lacey-Hall, moderator for the side event.

This GPDRR side event looked at the importance of international, regional and national entities being ready to step up and play their part in getting assistance to people affected by disasters and conflicts and note the significant work that is being undertaken on this under the aegis of both international agreements and meetings such as Sendai Framework for DRR and the agreements reached by and among regional organisations such as ASEAN, AU, etc.

The session focused on three key issues:

  • Exchange of best practices and experiences on standby arrangement mechanisms among regional humanitarian organisations
  • Using the opportunity of this global gathering to promote better understanding of different regional standby mechanisms and their role in disaster preparedness and response.
  • Foster greater collaboration between regional organisations and international and national humanitarian partners with the key aim of enhancing disaster preparedness and response, strongly and firmly aligned with Sendai Framework Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

From LACER, Team Leader Charles Silva, Project Manager Carl-Johan Breitholtz and Leadership Expert Britta Ramberg attended. Britta has led humanitarian and civil protection operations in the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) over the past 15 years. She recently took up a new role in the organisation, supervising its team dedicated to resilience building and capacity development in DRR.

“Regarding potential collaboration between regional standby mechanisms for disaster preparedness and response....we need to narrow it down, be specific and identify tangible targets and tangible areas of collaboration, and move away from just talking about coordination,” she says, addressing a question at the GPDRR session on Regional Standby Mechanisms and their Role in Disaster Preparedness and Response. Britta has extensive experience with the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) having worked at the heart of efforts to develop the Swedish contributions to EU standby arrangements, as well as the creation of ready modules, both trained and tested.

Carl Johan-Breitholtz concludes that one key take away from the Global Platform is the importance of dialogue with partners, exchanging experience how to build systems and how we can learn from each other. "Recognising the importance of national and regional entities, there is also a need for enhanced collaboration between regional organisations. For example, through interregional exchange of experts between emergency operating centres to better understand when standby arrangements are deployed and improve recipient structures. These issues are relevant for what we want to achieve together in LACER in the exchanges between EU and ASEAN," he says.