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First Responders Forum 2024: Strengthening collaboration between emergency responders

First Responders Forum 2024: Strengthening collaboration between emergency responders

The Inaugural First Responders Forum in the Maldives was held from 20 to 21 February 2024 by MRC and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the support of the Strengthening Preparedness and Resilience through Inclusive Community Governance (SPRING) project, in partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and supported by USAID.

In the face of escalating natural hazards exacerbated by the climate crisis, the need for more effective emergency response systems and mechanisms has never been more critical. Strengthening collaboration and understanding between response agencies is needed to meet the increasing number of challenges faced in emergency response. The Inaugural First Responders Forum 2024, organized by MRC and NDMA with the support of the SPRING Project, aimed to address this need by bringing together the core and cooperating first responders in the Maldives.


Over 90 individuals from 40 organizations participated in the event, including government representatives, civil society organizations, healthcare professionals, representatives from local councils and members of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from across the country. Minister of Defense, Honorable Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon, U.S Ambassador to the Maldives, Hugo Yen, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Dr. Sisira Madurapperuma and senior leadership of response agencies participated in the forum. 

Through a series of plenary and panel discussions, the forum covered a diverse range of topics aimed at enhancing understanding of potential risks and fostering interagency collaboration through the discussion of prevailing issues faced in responding to emergencies and the work required to overcome these challenges. These sessions provided a platform for emergency responders to come together to share knowledge, expertise, and experiences by engaging in discussions and activities on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, the role of local leadership in driving grassroots resilience, details on ensuring safety in high-rise buildings, the development of effective pre-hospital care systems, and more.



As we navigate the complex challenges posed by climate change and evolving risk landscapes, creating a culture of preparedness, and strengthening interagency collaboration is essential. The insights and discussions from the First Responders Forum 2024 serve to improve collaboration between core and corresponding response agencies and increase innovation in emergency response. Together with the National Disaster Management Authority, MRC aims to build on the success of the forum and continue working towards stronger interagency coorindation and colloabration in building resilient communities across the Maldives