During the 33rd ASEAN Summit held on 13 November 2018 in Singapore, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States expressed their readiness to support Myanmar in its repatriation process. The ASEAN Leaders also welcomed the invitation extended by Myanmar to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) to dispatch a needs assessment team to identify possible areas of cooperation in Rakhine State to facilitate the repatriation process. In response to the guidance of the ASEAN Leaders, the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the conduct of the needs assessment to identify areas of cooperation to facilitate the repatriation process was developed jointly by the Department of Disaster Management of Myanmar, the AHA Centre and the ASEAN Secretariat.

2. Accordingly, an ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) composed of ten (10) members coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the AHA Centre and the ASEAN Secretariat were deployed to Myanmar on 4-13 March 2019. The ASEAN-ERAT was supported by one official from DDM Myanmar and one official from the ASEAN Secretariat. Based on the endorsed ToR, the objective of the Preliminary Needs Assessment is to assess the readiness of Reception and Transit Centres, including potential relocations sites that have been identified by the Government of Myanmar.

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