Strengthening the cooperation in disaster response between Southeast Asia and South Asia is an urgent imperative as natural disasters cut across boundaries, according to Dela Rosa Bala Alicia, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for the Socio-Cultural Community.

She made the statement during a visit between high-level officials from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on January 27.

The visiting delegates highly valued the experience of ASEAN in responding to natural disasters, expressing optimism in continuing the partnership between ASEAN and SAARC.

They said what they learnt from the study visit will help with the implementation of the agreements on rapid response to natural disasters in the near future.

Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary-General of SAARC, as head of the delegation, said that regional cooperation between ASEAN and SAARC for disaster management could be a stepping stone for larger cooperation between the two regions.

Also on the event, the delegation visited the ASEAN’s Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) to learn about ASEAN’s regional disaster response mechanisms.-VNA