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When republishing:

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Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

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Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Direct Relief Renews Commitment to ASEAN Region, Building on Strength of Past Partnership

The organization signs a memorandum of intent to continue support and streamline disaster response efforts across 10 ASEAN countries.


AHA Center

Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Tighe meets with AHA Executive Director Lee Yam Ming in Brunei on May 8, 2024, during a signing of memorandum of intent, committing to future disaster response in the ASEAN region. (Direct Relief photo)

BRUNEI – Direct Relief this week renewed its commitment to disaster response and humanitarian support by signing a memorandum of intent with the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, or AHA Center.

The signing ceremony, held in Brunei, was part of the 44th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management and the 20th Meeting of the Governing Board of the AHA Center, which brought together the heads of the national disaster management agencies of all 10 ASEAN member states.

ASEAN, which stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

. ASEAN member countries combined have a population of 640 million people, and these 10 countries sit on or near the “Ring of Fire,” the zone around the Pacific Ocean that is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Tighe and the Executive Director of the AHA Center, Lee Yam Ming, signed the memorandum of intent, which renews the longstanding strategic partnership between the two organizations, first signed in 2016.

“The partnership between the AHA Center and Direct Relief will bolster the facility’s response capacity in the ASEAN region,” said Lee Yam Ming, Executive Director of the AHA Center. “Through this partnership, we continuously expand and broaden our collaboration in preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives. The AHA Center is looking forward to working together with Direct Relief in realizing ASEAN as a disaster-resilient region.”

“Because of the region’s risk exposure to natural disasters, including some of the most intense earthquakes and tsunamis on record, Direct Relief stands ready to respond in coordination with the AHA Center at a moment’s notice,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief CEO and President. “Today’s event signifies Direct Relief’s commitment to building on the past eight years of cooperation with the AHA Center, as well as a vision of future support in the region to help those most impacted by disasters and crises.”

Since 2008, Direct Relief has delivered more than $387 million in medical materials across ASEAN member states. Since the 2016 signing, Direct Relief has also provided $1.187 million in grant funding for the procurement and prepositioning of emergency supplies, for the reconstruction of health infrastructure, for capacity building, for AHA regional training, and for various other AHA-led programs.

In addition to regular donations of medicines and medical supplies, Direct Relief has mobilized and launched major organizational responses to disasters in the region, including the Indian Ocean Tsunami (Indonesia, 2004), Cyclone Nargis (Myanmar, 2008), Typhoon Haiyan (The Philippines, 2013), Sulawesi and Lombok earthquakes (Indonesia, 2018) and Covid-19 pandemic response throughout Southeast Asia.

Direct Relief and the AHA Center have also coordinated emergency preparedness efforts, including the pre-positioning of emergency medical supplies at ASEAN disaster supply warehouses in Malaysia and the Philippines, joint participation in emergency response exercises and policy dialogues, funding for AHA-led initiatives, information sharing, data analysis, mapping, and collaboration during large-scale emergency response operations in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

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