The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) announced the start of the second batch of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme in Jakarta , Indonesia on February 22.

Sixteen disaster management officers from ASEAN Member States' National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) from Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Thailand , and Vietnam are participating in the programme.

ASEAN Secretary-General, Le Luong Minh reiterated the importance of the ACE Programme, saying that through the Programme, ASEAN is enhancing the capacity of NDMOs in the region by developing their skills and competencies and preparing them for future challenges.

The ACE Programme, which is a testament of intergovernmental cooperation and that when it comes to disasters, the people come first and by far, the most intensive disaster management training programme in the region is designed to prepare 60 future leaders of disaster management in ASEAN.

It will run in three six-month batches until 2016, covering various disaster management and leadership topics, from hands-on experience working at the AHA to training courses and workshops in various topics, as well as comparative studies to disaster-affected areas in Japan, New Zealand, and Indonesia.

In addition to support provided by the Government of Japan through Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the ACE Programme is also supported by other organisations, including NDMOs of the ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN World Food Programme, the International Organisation for Migration, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.

The AHA was established in November, 2014 with its headquarters located in Jakarta . It aims to promote cooperation and coordination among the ASEAN member countries, UN agencies and international organisations in disaster management.-VNA