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ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx) 2013

The rescue teams and rescue dogs were getting ready for disaster relief practice.
The rescue teams from Singapore and the USA were getting ready for disaster relief practice in building collapse scenario.

CBM and Disability Thailand were invited by the Royal Thai Armed Forces to series of planning meetings and participated in ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx) 2013 to ensure disability inclusion during 7-10 May 2013 in Cha-am, Thailand.

Inclusive disaster relief exercise

A group photo of representives from Royal Thai Arm Forces, Korea Rescue Team, and Thai volunteered persons with disabilities ©CBM
A group photo of representatives from Royal Thai Arm Forces, Korea Rescue Team, and Thai volunteered persons with disabilities
Persons with disabilities are most vulnerable group during disaster, the social behavior study have shown that persons with disabilities are often forgotten, and most likely to be abandoned during disasters.

Due to the lack of planning, preparation and inaccessible facilities, persons with disabilities are more exposed to life threatening situation during disasters. In addition, moving and transferring persons with disabilities requires handling techniques to avoid injury or further injury.

14 volunteered persons with disabilities, led by Director of Disability Thailand, Mr.Chaiyaporn Phuparat were invited by the Royal Thai Armed Forces to join ASEAN Disaster Relief Exercise 2013 at Rama VI Camp, Cha-am, Petchaburi province, Thailand during 7-10 May 2013.

Dr.Parichatt Klongkant CBM Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator was also invited to planning meetings and the exercise to ensure disability inclusion and risk reduction for persons with disability. Persons with disabilities participated in various simulated disaster situations such as chemical spillage, collapse of building, rocks avalanche evacuation etc., along with disaster relief teams from Korea, Thailand, Singapore, EU, Australia and the USA.

Voice from persons with disabilities

The picture shown the rescue team is transferring a patient to the helicopter. ©CBM
Transferring persons with disabilities to helicopter during the disaster relief exercise
The exercise aimed to be a platform for persons with disabilities and military to exchange knowledge in the terms of communication, coordination and providing assistance during disaster and emergency situations. Persons with disabilities had chance to learn more about disaster preparedness and be familiarized with simulated emergency situations, so that they can give feedback on disaster preparedness in real emergency situations.

Prior to this exercise, the Royal Thai Armed Forces invited persons with disabilities, Disability Thailand, and CBM to series of exercise planning meetings to ensure disability inclusion.

Cooperation between persons with disabilities and the Royal Thai Armed Forces this time set a good example in providing humanitarian assistance in accordance to international standard, which is fundamental rights under the Geneva Convention. It also created awareness for other countries to join the practice, and see the importance of the participation of persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction exercise.

Mr.Chaiyaporn, Director of Disability Thailand shared his thought, “We appreciated CBM and the Royal Thai Armed Forces for the support and the opportunity to share our opinions and feedback on this exercise. We would like our voices to be heard in all aspects, especially during emergency situations because persons with disabilities have rights as equal as others, and rights to be rescued during emergency."

Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster risk - CBM working to build more resilience

CBM is part of the DiDRR network to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in building resilience for the communities


Thailand and Cambodia Inclusive Disaster Response

CBM and the Council of Persons with Disabilities Thailand introduce disability inclusion in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief



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