Minister of Defense and National Security and UNDP Resident Representative at the project signing ceremony. Photo: UNDP Maldives 2013.

Government and UNDP sign project to address disaster risk management In the Maldives

28 Jul 2013

Project will assist in developing people, strengthening systems and partnerships

Male’ July 28, 2013: The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed a project to address disaster risk management in the Maldives. The "Enhance National Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Maldives”, project will be funded to the tune of US $ 400,000 by the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR).

“As we transitioned from response to recovery after the tsunami nearly nine years ago, we began to realize how unprepared we were for such contingencies.  The shortage of trained individuals and the lack of institutions, systems and mechanism were evident to everybody,” said the Minister of Defence and National Security, Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim, speaking at the ceremony.

The project is a capacity development initiative for disaster risk reduction and management. It is geared towards helping the Government of Maldives to strengthen its disaster risk reduction and management capacity, enhance national and local preparedness and reduce risks, and achieve its global commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Millennium Development Goals.

The project will support in;
•    The establishment of the institutional and legal systems for disaster risk reduction and effective disaster risk reduction organizations/ institutions.
•    Strengthening of the end-to-end early warning systems and implementation of public awareness campaigns and knowledge building on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
•    Increasing community capacities for disaster preparedness for effective response.
•    Involving multi-stakeholder engagement, and
•    Assessing and strengthening the capacities of the NDMC as the lead national institution on disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management and coordination.

UNDP Maldives Resident Representative, Tony Lisle, highlighted on the importance of multi-stakeholder involvement, as well as increased expectations in capacity that come along with the newly acquired status of Middle Income Country by the Maldives. “I hope that the project will address the critical gaps in disaster risk reduction, and will facilitate strategic steps forward in the area of disaster risk reduction and management in the country,” Tony Lisle said.

Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Maldives has achieved improvements in disaster risk reduction, which has provided important building blocks towards enhancement of national capacities.  This includes the integration of disaster risk reduction in the humanitarian emergency and early recovery interventions, and setting the foundation for developing institutional and governance capacities for disaster risk reduction and management, including the creation of the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) - a nodal agency for disaster risk reduction and management in the country. An early warning system has also been established in the country, capacitating the Maldives Meteorological Services. A number of island communities have developed disaster preparedness capacities through Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management techniques. Disaster risk profiling, vulnerability and risk assessments, and DRR has been mainstreamed into schools and building codes. 

UNDP assisted in these processes, as well as supported the drafting of the initial disaster management bill. This fed into the formulation of the Maldives National Disaster Management Bill, which is currently ready for submission to the Parliament.

Contact Information

Aminath Ibrahim, Communication Officer, (+960) 3343285, aminath.ibrahim@undp.org

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