In 2009, actors from five different countries of the Asia Pacific region, such as governments, private companies and NGOs, first gathered in Hiroshima to discuss how to respond swiftly and effectively to the possible natural disasters in the region. This initiative was hosted by the Japanese NGO for disaster management, Civic Force.
Following the conference, Civic Force took the lead in conducting a feasibility study on having a pre-agreement for actors from different sectors to work together at the time of natural disasters, with the support of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. In the process of the study, Civic Force developed a framework for disaster-relief work which could be enhanced by the existence of a pre-agreement and cooperation among different actors.
In September 2011, the Asia Pacific Relief Summit was held in Tokyo, where leaders of multi-sector actors from five countries agreed to create a framework for action in times of disaster. These leaders became the founding members of a new organization based on the framework, called the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management. The establishment of the Alliance was announced at the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in October 2012 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
As of 2022, A-PAD is diversified in Japan (Headquarters), Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Korea and Nepal.