US pledges additional USD 2M to support Maldives’ COVID response

A nurse fills a syringe with a vial of Covishield vaccine. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

United States has pledged an additional USD 2 million in urgent assistance to Maldives through USAID to support the country’s COVID-19 response efforts. 

The assistance was announced during a meeting between Maldivian State Minister for Health Dr. Shah Abdulla Mahir and USAID on Wednesday. 

Health Ministry said the funds will be used to procure essential commodities, strengthen laboratory capacity, and further mitigate COVID-19 transmission, morbidity, and mortality. 

USAID Deputy Mission Director for Maldives and Sri Lanka, Debra Mosel said the US was working in partnership with the Maldivian people to adress COVID-19. 

“This additional USD 2 million in American Rescue Plan funds will reach across Maldives’ islands and atolls to continue to mitigate COVID-19 impacts and strengthen the ability of healthcare workers and facilities to treat patients,” she said. 

Health Ministry said the funds will also support the analysis of COVID-19 vaccine data for decision-making, refurbish smaller island health facilities to treat patients, address vaccine hesitancy among Maldivians, and procure essential commodities and consumables related to COVID-19 management.  

The funds will also be used to improve the oxygen ecosystem, strengthen national laboratory capacity, conduct mental health and resilience training for healthcare workers, and support telemedicine to provide expert consultations for COVID-19 management in island facilities. 

USAID has provided Maldives with over USD 7 million in COVID-19 assistance, along with an in-kind donation of 60 ventilators, since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year.