The new agreement is aimed to provide assistance to all Saarc member states affected by disasters (Image: Krish Dulal)

An agreement signed by all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and India) is underway to promote a rapid response to natural disasters.

A Saarc monitoring system including tools for early warning system and risk mitigation could ease the humanitarian and technical assistance in member states when affected by natural disasters, facilitating for instance disaster relief or information on potential risks.

India is taking a leading role in setting up the system and is committed to provide technical assistance to all member states, besides manpower and financial support, as The Times of India informed.

"New Delhi was signatory to an agreement in Jakarta this January to develop a standard operating procedure for the region," said Santosh Kumar, director of Saarc Disaster Management Centre and executive director of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

Publishing Date: 29/04/2015
Proba's view of the Maldives

UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office located in Japan, the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), initiated the DRR Policy Peer Review project back in 2009 with the aim of developing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacities among its members by sharing information.

This year, "Developing a National Framework on Managing Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) during emergencies" was selected as target project and a reviewer team has already visited the Maldives to conduct surveys.

The team visited institutions and organizations involved in DRR in the Maldives and made recommendations on capacity building. A workshop was held in Male, where good practices from Japan and Myanmar on reducing tsunami risk and improving IDP management were introduced.

The project’s main goal is to support mutual learning processes among ADRC members through frequent information sharing and survey reports.

Publishing Date: 24/01/2014

Following the invitation from the Government of the Republic of Maldives, a Technical Advisory Mission to Maldives was carried out from 18 to 22 April 2010. The mission team comprised experts from UN-SPIDER, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Disaster Management Centre, and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The key objectives to visit Maldives were to assess national capacities and to evaluate disaster risk reduction activities, policies and plans with regard to the use of space-based technologies, and to facilitate access of national institutions to space-based information to support the full cycle of disaster management. The mission team held meetings with the key stakeholders within the Government and UN Offices.        

Subsequently, on 20 April 2010, the... read more

Publishing Date: 25/04/2010

Advisory Support

The Republic of Maldives consists of a chain of coral atolls. The extremely low level of these islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise. They are exposed to multiple natural hazards such as storms, heavy rains and sea level rise associated hazards. The National Disaster Management Centre was established after a devastating tsunami in December 2004. At the invitation from the Government of the Republic of Maldives, UN-SPIDER experts assessed national capacities and evaluated disaster and risk reduction activities, policies and plans with regard to space-based information.

Mission dates: 18/04/2010 to 22/04/2010
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