In 2016, Direct Relief signed a memorandum of intent with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, to provide prepositioned emergency medical supplies for ASEAN’s collective response to local disasters.
Responding Regionally to the Ring of Fire
ASEAN includes ten countries that 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. The ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance, known as the AHA Center, was created by ASEAN in 2011 to coordinate the collective response by ASEAN nations to disasters within the region.
Direct Relief has prepositioned emergency supplies throughout the region, allowing aid to be delivered to disaster victims far more rapidly. Emergencies often trigger an outpouring of assistance from many sources that have the unintended effect of creating delays when time is of the essence, as bottlenecks occur in logistics channels and national and local governments bear additional burdens trying to ensure that materials being imported are appropriate for the circumstances.