National Planning Meeting Advances Anticipatory Action through Disaster Preparedness in the Maldives

National Planning Meeting Advances Anticipatory Action through Disaster Preparedness in the Maldives

30 Apr 2024

Male, Maldives

Male, Maldives – 30 April 2024 – The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Maldives, in collaboration with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and supported by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, convened a pivotal National Planning Meeting in Male City. The gathering brought together twenty-two national stakeholders under the leadership of NDMA to refine strategies for the Sustainable National Anticipatory Action through Preparedness (SNAP) South Asia Program, focusing on sustainable disaster preparedness for early action and response.

Figure 1: Participants of the SNAP South Asia National Planning Meeting in Maldives led by Mr. Umar Fikry, Dy Chief Executive Office of NDMA and Ms. Safeenaz Hassan, Secretary General of NDMA

The meeting started with insightful opening remarks from Mr. Umar Moosa Fikry, the Deputy Chief Executive of NDMA, who emphasized the organization's commitment to enhancing disaster resilience through Anticipatory Actions (AA) and the essential role of risk monitoring.

The event's highlight was presenting the key findings of the National Landscape Study on Anticipatory Action. The study identified critical avenues for initiating anticipatory action initiatives, addressing challenges and opportunities within the Maldives’ disaster management frameworks.

Key findings underscored the ongoing efforts by various government agencies, such as the Health Protection Agency and the Meteorological Department, to enhance risk information and operational frameworks. However, challenges such as the need for improved risk data management and the need for a unified data-sharing platform still need to be addressed.

Figure 2: Group discussions on identifying priority interventions to support Anticipatory Action in Maldives

The meeting also served as a platform for discussing the integration of anticipatory action into national policies, with suggestions to establish a national multi-stakeholder working group and advocate for regulatory adjustments to facilitate sustainable disaster management funding.

Practical action points were developed to enhance partnership capacities, advocate for disaster preparedness, and strengthen program coordination mechanisms. These include engaging more uniform bodies like Scouts and Girl Guides in emergency response training and enhancing community-level training programs to bolster island disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

This national meeting marks a significant step toward institutionalizing anticipatory action in the Maldives' disaster risk management policies. It aims to forge a path toward more resilient island communities and national frameworks capable of withstanding future disasters.