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NDMA launches First Responders Forum in collaboration with USAID, ADPC and Red Crescent

A First Responders Forum, coordinated by the NDMA with support from USAID, ADPC and Red Crescent was launched yesterday morning. The program sessions aimed to offer first responders a platform to work together in refining their services.

Aishath Shuba Solih
21 February 2024, MVT 05:55
Minister of Defense, Ghassan Maumoon
Aishath Shuba Solih
21 February 2024, MVT 05:55

The First Responders Forum 2024 was launched by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday morning.

This joint forum, supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and Maldivian Red Crescent was launched with the aim to provide a platform for response agencies to deliberate existing issues and challenges in order to collaborate to streamline approaches and solutions for impending disasters.

Speaking at the ceremony held to inaugurate the forum, Chief Executive of NDMA, Hisan Hassan stated that fostering a collaborative environment for risk management is the authority’s duty. He asserted that it is the response agencies’ dedication and hard work that ensures the return to normalcy following a natural disaster.

Remarking that first responders are on constant alerts for threats, he stated that the role of first responders become crucial in safeguarding the island and communities in times of crisis.

Secretary General to Maldives Red Crescent, Fathimath Himya, referred to the forum as a testament to the efforts to strengthen interconnections in attribution of a shared vision, empowering a community equipped to deliver efficient responses to manage risks. Speaking at the ceremony, she acknowledged the effectiveness of unified responders and ensured the forum will foster a resilient community that supports the most vulnerable in times of disasters.

The US Ambassador to the Maldives, Hugo Han had also attended this ceremony held at the Meeruma Events Conference Center and ensured their efforts in identifying unique crises that affect the world.

“Disasters will happen but we will prepare. We must. Each year we see impacts of the storm. This year, we saw historical levels of flooding in Male',” Hugo said.

He asserted that rescue procedures for saving lives need to be prioritized and accredited that the forum is taking a step to ensure this. Emphasizing that the most importance should be asserted in identifying improvement to the responders system, he stated that there will be gaps and challenges to it.

Chief Executive of NDMA, Hisan Hassan

“It is nice to see people who could be competing working together.” Hugo had noted in reference to the collaborators of this forum.

This forum is the first of its kind in the Maldives, as highlighted by the Chief guest of the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Defense, Ghassan Maumoon. Speaking at the ceremony held to launch the forum, Ghassan stated that it is his honor and duty to support the NDMA in these efforts.

He declared that the revitalization of this authority is a high priority of the President, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, and assured that work is underway to improve risk management strategies.

Acknowledging the challenges combined with climate changes, Gassam shared that he has advised the state to foster additional partnerships and engage with regional first responders and counterparts.

“In order to overcome these challenges, it is important we usher in a new era of partnerships. This forum will guarantee that.” Ghassan said.

This forum coordinated by the NDMA is a two-day program that delivers plenary sessions, panel discussions and poster presentations by emergency response agencies. The forum will allow these responders who are divided into two categories in priority of their roles in disaster management to reiterate experiences and knowledge of pivotal themes and enhance comprehension of natural risks to better equip them to manage disaster.

Category one responders are the core solution to most emergencies that occur within the country. This core category consists of important crisis responders such as MDNF, Maldives Police Services, NDMA and Red Crescent who are the first line of defense in the face of threats.

While Category two features cooperating responders, amongst these are agencies such as government facilities, state-owned enterprises, telecommunication service providers and airport responders who will engage the most in crises that affect their concerned sectors.

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