Asia-Pacific News

INSARAG Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting, Cairns, 15-16 August 2019

The 2019 INSARAG Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting took place on 15-16 August in Cairns, Australia, with a focus on INSARAG strategic and operational issues in the region. The meeting was generously hosted by the Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and co-organized by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Hon. Craig Crawford, the Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mr Lam Hen Huot, Vice President, National Committee for Disaster Management of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Mr Jamie Isbister, Australian Humanitarian Coordinator, attended the meeting. The Regional Meeting was co-facilitated by Australia and OCHA’s Emergency Response Section in its capacity as the INSARAG Secretariat. 

The meeting brought together 81 senior heads and officials from diplomatic authorities and national disaster management agencies from 15 countries and organizations. 

In preparation for the upcoming INSARAG Global Meeting (IGM) in Warsaw, Poland in 2020, Polish delegates took part in the Asia-Pacific Meeting, to promote and share global policy objectives, and to collect inputs to inform the IGM. Participants considered the three strategic priorities from the 2019 Steering Group meeting, focusing on enhancing preparedness activities and bolstering partnerships to inform the 2020-25 INSARAG Strategy, for IGM agreement in 2020. Under Australia’s leadership, the meeting sought to advance INSARAG strategic and operational priorities in the region, taking into account broader humanitarian reform efforts, particularly protection and localisation.

The meeting served as a platform to harness ideas on how to operationalize the key issues arising from the 2019 INSARAG Steering Group meeting. Particular areas of focus were: the INSARAG Classification System, with an emphasis on the International Assistance arrangements in sudden onset emergencies; institutionalization of the Ownership Model to the Regional Troikas; the INSARAG Global Meeting 2020; the INSARAG Guidelines Review 2020; the Training of IEC/R Mentors and Team Leaders; the implementation of new technologies (ESRI) and the First International Light Team Classification arrangements.


 Group Photo   Australia Podium Photo



The USAR Coordination Cell (UCC) training was successfully held in Beijing

On July 23-26, 2019, the USAR Coordination Cell (UCC) training was successfully held in Beijing. The training was hosted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approved by the International Cooperation and Rescue Department, Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) and organized by National Earthquake Response Support Service (NERSS). Trainers from Australia, Singapore and China were invited to facilitate the course and a total of 36 participants from China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan received the training. The four-day training course, based on INSARAG methodology, mainly introduced UCC assessment requirements and training skills, during which participants were given the opportunity to practice. The training course enhanced the skills and hands-on ability of UCC members in Asia-Pacific region and improved emergency response capability of China in the INSARAG Asia-Pacific region.

Group Photo 2   UCC China Website 3  UCC China Website 1   UCC China Website 2  


USAR Coordination Train-the-Trainer course in the Asia-Pacific Region, New Zealand

The UCC course for Asia Pacific Region took place from 20 to 24 in Roturua, New Zealand with 25 participants from 6 countries (NZ, Australia, Italy, China, Singapore, NL)

The UCC Tot course in Rotorua had 3 goals.

  1. To train new trainers in the delivery of the UCC course
  2. Introduce the INSARAG Information Management System (IIMS) to the UCC methodology 
  3. To develop a proper Train the Trainer package for UC.

All three goals were met, with instructors and participants both enjoying learning new skills and making new friends.

The value of the international component in giving a wider view of the issues cannot be overstated, and the shared experiences add to the overall understanding and comprehension of the role of UCC.

Fantastic result and more opportunities to improve coordination skills and potential outcomes..

After all, Coordination Saves Lives.

NZ UCC GroupPhoto  NZ UCC Photo2


INSARAG Secretariat and OCHA ROAP in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The INSARAG Secretariat and OCHA ROAP is this week in Chiang Mai, Thailand to support the national disaster management authorities (DDPM) in preparation for the Asia Pacific Earthquake Response Exercise(ERE) in December 2019.  

The INSARAG AP network supported with 15 senior experts from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore. WHO and the ASEAN AHA Center also participated along with 30 national participants from DDPM and government agencies. 

The planning is for the annual table-top ERE and based on a probable earthquake scenario that requires an international response in accordance to the INSARAG guidelines and international humanitarian response arrangements. The main objective of this exercise is to strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of national and international response.  


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