National disaster response agencies (NDMAs)

The primary and sovereign responsibility for response to disaster and crisis lies with the state authorities. These authorities -- national, provincial, district, local (and traditional) -- vary greatly in their capacity to coordinate and implement the provision of assistance and protection to their people. Increasingly, governments in crisis-prone areas have created a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) or have developed the capacity to organise an ad hoc coordination approach, such as through an Incident Management System (IMS). Where these exist, international crisis response actors and structures (e.g., the UN's cluster system) should work to exercise their implementation and coordination functions in support of the national authorities.
Search and rescue workers by a destroyed building
Photo: Jessica Lea/DFID

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