The Governments of India and Maldives have signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today on Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs). The MoU will provide additional grant assistance of MVR 70 million for the implementation of HICDPs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid and the Minister of External Affairs of India Dr. S Jaishankar signed the MoU on behalf of their respective Governments. The MoU was signed as part of Minister Shahid’s official visit to India in his capacity as the President-elect of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The grant assistance of MVR 70 million will be used for the implantation of nine to ten HICDPs and the primary themes of the projects covered under this agreement are socio-economic development, livelihood activity, conservation of environmental and cultural heritage, empowerment of women and child welfare and skills development.
The MoU was first signed on 17 March 2019, during the official visit of then Minister of External Affairs of India late Sushma Swaraj to the Maldives. Through MVR 85 million granted through this MoU – 12 projects are currently underway at different islands, overseen by local councils. During this visit, India had also extended a cash grant of MVR 106 million under which 18 socio-economic developmental projects are being carried out.
From the aforesaid 30 projects, 12 projects have been completed and inaugurated as well. The remaining projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The HICDPs chosen by the Government of Maldives through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are those that have a high level of community impact and participation in the areas of livelihood and income generation, health, education, gender and child empowerment, sports, sustainable development, etc. Projects undertake so far in this regard includes the establishment of fish-processing plants, eco-tourism zones, Drug-Detox Center, bottled-water plant, soil-testing lab. The projects further cover a swathe of other important areas such as development of sports infrastructure, coastal protection, procurement of vehicles and machinery for City councils, infrastructural upgrade of critical institutions, construction of school classrooms, development of community centers and parks including children's parks etc.