Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) is guided by the APP Regional Steering Committee (APPRSC) to improve the interface and partnership between the 6 countries in South Asia and South-east Asia. Members from national disaster management organizations (NDMOs), local humanitarian organization networks and private sector networks from six partner countries – Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka – convened on 14 May, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland to harmonize lessons learnt, progress and challenges since mobilization of partners, and deliberate how they can contribute in transforming the humanitarian landscape for better disaster response in their countries. The 2 countries of Bhutan and Mongolia as special invitees observed the proceedings to understand the partnership, working modalities and discussion with members on APP. Representative from Give2Asia- a nonprofit organization driving social impact in local communities across Asia, also attended as an observer to understand involvement of local level networks in the partnership.
The 4th APPRSC was critically timed with the transitioning to a new phase, which seeks to enhance local actors’ capacities in implementing priority interventions in disaster preparedness, response and recovery through added dimensions of innovation and sustainability mechanisms. Organized on the sidelines of the 6th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) by UN Office for DRR, it gave APPRSC members the opportunity to network with the ongoing global dialogue on localizing DRR with experts and boost the implementation of international frameworks from a local standpoint.
The meeting also witnessed the national partnership platform of Myanmar Preparedness Partnership (MPP) facilitating APPRSC as Co-Chairs, taking a significant step towards leading the change we aspire to see on the ground. Initiating the opening ceremony, Mr. Hans Guttman, ADPC’s Executive Director and APPRSC Secretary thanked BMGF for their ongoing support to APP. Dr. Valerie Bemo, Deputy Director at BMGF emphasized the contribution of national partnerships and benefits of taking APP forward to the next level, while also reiterating principles for making or breaking the partnership, membership criteria and envisioning success towards making people resilient against disasters.
Following up on the actions from the 3rd APPRSC meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 2nd December, 2018, the National Preparedness Partnerships presented various local disaster risk reduction initiatives, while the APP Secretariat gave a snapshot of the regional coordination and south-south learning and knowledge sharing processes taken up during the initial phase.
Further on, a renewed framework towards developing the next phase of APP, was presented by Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director, ADPC touching upon important dimensions of localization processes with special emphasis on innovation and sustainability mechanisms in encouraging national partners to mainstream locally led actions. The steering committee called for a reaffirmation by partners with the ‘Geneva Statement’ on the commitments made at previous steering committee meetings of APP and the 14th Regional Consultative Committee on DRR held in Kathmandu, Nepal which specifically calls for accelerated implementation of disaster-related strategies through an inclusive and rights-based approach.