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Singapore Plans Regional Humanitarian Assistance And Disaster Relief Centre
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2014/jun/13/singapore-plans-regional-humanitarian-assistance-a/
Source Date: Friday, June 13, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Singapore
Created: Jun 13, 2014

Singapore intends to create a centre that coordinates humanitarian assistance and disaster relief coordination across the region.

The centre will be based in its Maritime Command and Control Centre, a military facility, and the proposal has received the backing of US defence secretary Chuck Hagel.

“ASEAN member states should consider Singapore’s offer to use Changi Naval Base as another regional command and control hub,” he said this month. There is an existing ASEAN coordination centre based in Indonesia.

Singapore’s centre will be modelled on the navy’s Information Fusion Centre, a 24/7 facility which hosts international liaison officers from ten regional partners and coordinates information across military and civilian agencies, including the police and the coastguard.

A 2011 Singapore government report, The Information Fusion Centre: Challenges and Perspectives, highlights the hurdles that will need to be overcome when developing this proposed regional centre. “Firstly, a certain level of trust needs to be developed between the various information sharing partners. This willingness to share does not come easy, as most continue to operate on a ‘need to share’ basis,” it says. It recommends trust-building exercises to lower these barriers.

Second, it notes, “interoperability between countries can be impeded due to equipment limitations. In such cases, capacity building is key to enabling all partners to be able to share on an equal footing.”

Last week FutureGov reported on the creation of national command centres in the Philippines and New Zealand.

The Philippines centre will provide emergency managers information including advance warning for extreme weather events, feedback from first responders on the number of casualties and affected families, and conditions of buildings and infrastructure following a major disaster. It comes with an integrated communications centre to facilitate more coordinated disaster management efforts across government agencies.

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