Foreign ministers of the 10-member regional grouping, of which Burma is a member, activated a task force led by Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan to run the mechanism, said Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama.
"It is a good starting point to help Burma concretely and productively. The Asean-led mechanism will be a driving force to mobilise resources and humanitarian assistance from countries around the world," Noppadon told reporters via a telephone conference from Singapore.
The mechanism will start working when Burma hosts the Asean-United Nations pledging conference in Rangoon next Sunday, he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon initially proposed having the conference in Bangkok, but the Burmese government offered to host the pledging conference inside the country instead.
Ban is due to fly to Burma tomorrow to tour the hardest-hit Irrawaddy Delta and expected to meet with paramount junta leader Than Shwe.
After the Asean meeting, the junta agreed to receive
30-member medical teams from each Asean member, but the entry of aid workers from outside of Asean will be on a case-by-case basis, Noppadon said.
Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win briefed the Asean meeting that his country needed at least US$11.7 billion (Bt378 billion) in aid and a large amount of grain seed, notably rice for hundreds of thousands of plantations in the devastated area.
Asean Secretary-General Surin will visit the country soon to make a further assessment.
Asean does not have sufficient funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Surin has received only $100,000 from the Nippon Foundation for this purpose, Noppadon said, adding that next Sunday's Asean-UN conference would discuss the issue.