Yayasan Hasanah Organises Public Forum to Share Experiences and Key Learnings from Natural Disaster Response in Malaysia

Yayasan Hasanah (“Hasanah”), the impact-based foundation of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”) recently brought together various Non-Governmental Organisations (“NGOs”) such as MERCY Malaysia, Tzu Chi Foundation, IMARET, and the GLC Disaster Response Network (“GDRN”), to share experiences and key learnings from their natural disaster response efforts in Malaysia in a public forum. This is the first forum of its kind to be held as part of its ILMU Hasanah session, a series of free knowledge events where Hasanah provides a platform for cross sharing of information within the social sector.

At the forum held earlier this week, the speakers particularly shared insights on their experience during one of the most challenging floods in Malaysia in 2014/2015 where over 100,000 evacuees had been affected. One of the key lessons learned was there is a greater need for better coordination between organisations to ensure emergency relief items are distributed systematically to all affected families and individuals. More importantly, the panel of speakers also pointed out the need to allocate financial and manpower resources to support the longer recovery phase. This includes assistance towards restocking of household supply items, providing psychosocial support and restore their livelihoods especially for survivors working in informal sectors.

Since 2006, both Hasanah and Khazanah have collectively contributed almost RM50 million locally and globally on various humanitarian and disaster response initiatives. These funds were not only directed towards rapid mobilisation of funds to Malaysian partner NGOs, but also to provide emergency humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Gaza, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as well as Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan amongst others.

Hasanah Managing Director, Shahira Ahmed Bazari said: “Hasanah’s support for humanitarian and disaster relief (HDR) initiatives is three-pronged: (i) ensuring ongoing preparedness, (ii) providing initial and emergency response, and (iii) continuous recovery and rebuilding efforts. We work very closely with our network of partner NGOs as well as the GDRN and National Disaster Management Agency (“NADMA”) to ensure we provide effective  response and relief support to survivors of both natural and man-made disasters.”

Prior to the operationalisation of Hasanah in 2015, Khazanah has been supporting the emergency, recovery and preparedness response phases of natural disasters, especially floods, since 2013. In 2013 and 2014, Khazanah allocated RM10 million and RM20 million respectively for flood relief efforts across the nation. Of the RM30 million, approximately RM16.5 million was channelled to:

  • Majlis Keselamatan Negara (“MKN”) for the purchase of disaster response equipment such as boats, generator sets, stoves, water jet sprays and life jackets
  • Various NGOs and State Government agencies for emergency response in the form of food, water, medical aid, hygiene kits, cleaning items
  • Recovery response through the rehabilitation of public amenities and rebuilding of homes
  • Support for preparedness training in schools and communities, as well as the building of a multipurpose evacuation hall