Foreign Minister Shahid: World shut down, Maldives continued to develop

Minister Shahid speaking during the 50-minute programme. (Sun Photo / Mohamed Hayyan)

The President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Minister of Foreign Affairs  Abdulla Shahid said that even when the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, development in Maldives was not halted. 

Speaking during 'Sun's' '50 Minute' program, Minister Shahid noted that with the current administration coming into power, countries extended free aid to Maldives. He added that the government utilises this in a very transparent manner and that all the details regarding the projects were being revealed by the Finance Ministry. 

Additionally, he said that several large scale projects such as water, sewerage and harbour projects were currently ongoing. He added that the project to build the bridge connecting Male', Villimale', Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu was ready to commence and that housing projects will also start. 

"So work is ongoing in different areas. Please excuse me as it is hard to say in detail on the spot, but a lot of projects are ongoing in various areas. The past two years saw the whole world shut down. But it did not make any difference to the development in Maldives. It continued in Maldives."

The Foreign Minister went on to assure that with the help of different foreign aid, they will bring development never before seen in the country. 

Speaking in this regard, he said that there were two different ideologies when it comes to development in Maldives. He stated that one of them was the ideology of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, which focused on developing Male' areas. 

However, Shahid stated that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration's ideology focuses on spreading development across Male' as well as the atolls. 

"President Solih's administration's thinking is to develop the other atolls along with Male'. The most 'Jazeera' development, that sees even the islands with the smallest population having basic facilities. The crowding in the Male' area would decrease once basic necessities, be it a hospital or schools being developed in different areas."