US pledges USD 2 million in economic support funding to Maldives

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in a press conference on February 12, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The United States government has pledged USD 2 million (MVR 31 million) in economic support funding to aid the Maldivian economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the US State Department, the funding will support the expansion of social protection services led by local civil society organizations and assist them to advocate effectively for COVID-19 recovery policies.

The assistance will also include technical support to the government, private sector, and financial institutions to support hard hit businesses, it said.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, in a tweet this Saturday, thanked the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US Ambassador to Maldives and Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz for the assistance.

“We need such support and assistance from our partners to overcome this pandemic,” he added.

According to the US State Department, US investments in Maldives include more than USD 30 million in total assistance since 2004.

The pledge of USD 2 million in economic support funding by US comes the same day Japan extended an emergency grant of USD 541,400 (MVR 8.4 million) for UNICEF and Maldivian Red Crescent to assist the Maldivian government in its combat against the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives.

The grant by Japan is to be utilized for procurement of medical equipment and consumables, and for providing technical assistance for the installation of new communications systems in various schools for online teaching programs and tele-classes.