Summary of current response
Overview of Host National Society Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) responded immediately to government requests for assistance by mobilising 24 staff as well as over 700 volunteers from the MRC Malé branch National Emergency Response Team (NERT) and the Emergency Response Team (ERT), to help manage the government run water distribution points between 4 and 12 December 2014. In response to government appeal, MRC requested additional IFRC support in mobilizing water tanks and jerry cans, through the already approved DREF allocation for drinking water and communication systems.
The bottled water was distributed to the community, whereas the water tanks were given to the hospital. The MNDF replenished some water from the nearby water desalination plants at Thulusdhoo Island, located at about two hours from Malé. To date, MRC response is estimated to have benefited 150,000 people through its delivery of goods and services.
A total of 578 volunteers have signed up with MRC during the operation period, and increased the overall MRC volunteers base. The volunteers were involved in assisting the distribution of water at 27 government-run distribution points. In addition, they were tasked to deliver water to vulnerable households whose members could not join cues.
This was a great opportunity to test out the response mechanism and a lot of success was celebrated along with identification of lessons learned and areas where improvement is required.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country Neither the IFRC nor any Partner National Societies have had permanent in-country presence in the Maldives since the 2004 Tsunami programming was completed in early 2013. The regional delegation for South Asia, based in New Delhi, acts as the country team for IFRC. This DREF operation has been managed by SARD in coordination with APZ DMU, and supported by the Sri Lanka country delegation, both in terms of procurement and dispatching of relief goods, and deployment of a relief delegate to assist MRC in the early phase of the operation.
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country The government established an emergency task force led by the Defence Minister to manage the operation, while the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) was responsible for its implementation. The MNDF and police as well as a few local organizations, such as MRC, the Scout Association of Maldives and Guide Association of Maldives are also supporting the government in providing water at distribution points. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) was monitoring the situation for potential health hazards and preparing information, education and communication (IEC) material to generate awareness on health hazards. HPA has requested MRC to assist them during awareness promotion activities.
The Maldives government has requested and received support from several countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United States and China. The Singaporean Government provided technical experts to assist in the repair works needed at the water treatment plant linked to the fire accident.