Japan provides Maldives with MVR 21.7 million in grant aid

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (L) with the Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (R). (Photo/Japanese Foreign Ministry)

The Japanese government, on Thursday, provided Maldives with a MVR 21,740,400 grant aid package to assist in the country’s economic recovery from the new coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Maldivian Foreign Ministry, the aid package was secured through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and is aimed at assisting Maldives overcome its present challenges, along with helping it gear up towards recovery.

The aid package will benefit the both the government and entrepreneurs as the country looks forwards to easing restrictions and reopening the economy.

“It will also enable greater investments to address and diversify the economic base, while exploring new avenues of entrepreneurship, and contributing to the overall objective of stimulating economic growth in the long-term,” said the Foreign Ministry in its statement.

The Maldivian government has thanked Japan for its grant aid and the UNDP for its efforts in securing the funding.

Maldives and Japan are currently engaged in discussions for a project to assist Maldives increase the capacities of health service providers as the country battles to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

The latest grant aid package follows an emergency grant of MVR 8.4 million (USD 541,400) extended to UNICEF Maldives and Maldivian Red Crescent to assist the Maldivian government in its coronavirus battle in early May.

Japan has been one of Maldives’ most important bilateral partners for several decades. It has invested in infrastructure development and climate adaption projects –  the most iconic of which is the sea wall around the Maldivian capital, Male’ City.

Japan was also among the first countries to provide financial assistance to Maldives in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid thanked Japan for its grant aid package in a tweet on Thursday morning.

“Maldivians express their gratitude to the people of Japan for their generosity and solidarity, especially in times of crisis,” he said.