The Japanese government, on Thursday, provided Maldives with MVR 68.7 million in grant aid to strengthen the capacities of the Maldives Immigration and the Maldives Customs Services towards strengthening border control and countering terrorism.
The exchange of notes on the grant aid was signed by Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Japanese Ambassador Yanai Keiko in a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry headquarters on Thursday afternoon.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the grant aid will be utilized to provide Maldives Immigration and Maldives Customs Services with equipment; including facial recognition system, mobile x-rays, counterfeit bill detectors, special luminescent microscope, speedboats, and vehicles.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Shahid thanked the Japanese government for the grant aid, characterizing it as yet another important gesture of Japan’s goodwill and generosity to Maldives.
Shahid noted that expanding of bilateral cooperation into areas such as counterterrorism and border security were among the key issues discussed during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s official visit to Japan in October 2019.
He said the conclusion of the exchange of notes on the MVR 68.7 million grant aid to bolster border security therefore marked an important outcome following the President’s visit.
Meanwhile, Keiko , in her remarks, noted that the grant assistance aimed to strengthen the capacity and capability of the Maldives Immigration and Maldives Customs Service for border control and operational readiness.
She said that maintaining secure maritime, land and air borders was key to the national security and public safety of Maldives, given the remoteness and vulnerabilities of islands.
She also stressed on the need to improve coordination among the relevant agencies.
The MVR 68.7 million grant aid to bolster border security follows a MVR 21.7 million aid package provided by Japan to assist in Maldives’ economic recovery earlier this Thursday.
It also 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.