The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Maldivian government, as part of its COVID-19 Integrated Response Support.
The donation was presented by the UNDP Resident Representative in Maldives Akiko Fujii to the Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in a symbolic ceremony at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Male’ on Sunday afternoon.
The essential medical supplies presented by UNDP include:
Foreign Ministry has stated that the supplies will be used to support health workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 response, to safely and effectively continue their work while preventing further spread of the disease.
Speaking during Sunday’s ceremony to present the donation, Shahid thanked UNDP for its continued support the Maldivian government, especially in the areas of climate action, the consolidation of democracy and the eradication of poverty.
He also highlighted the importance of effective partnerships in combating natural calamities such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maldivian government was also presented with a donation of one million non-surgical masks, acquired in partnership with the Teochew International Federation during the ceremony.
Foreign Ministry has stated that the masks will be utilized by local tourism workers employed in guesthouses, in a bid to facilitate the economic recovery process under the new normal – a recommendation made in the Rapid Livelihoods Assessment conducted by the Maldivian Economic Ministry with the support of UNDP earlier this year.
Foreign Ministry stated that the assessment led to the designing and implementation of livelihoods and economic recovery programs - providing immediate socioeconomic relief to the most affected, especially the youth who lost jobs and women entrepreneurs.
Fujii, meanwhile, commended the measures being undertaken by the Maldivian government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as recovery efforts.
“With this support, in addition to protecting health workers, the government and UNDP will effectively protect local tourism workers. As local tourism entities begin to reopen, PPEs will be critical in reducing transmission risks and minimizing the potential for the pandemic to escalate. It is important to ensure that those on the frontlines are protected, and that business continuity is supported in order to restore the country’s economy and people’s livelihoods - especially in the islands,” said Fujii.
The Foreign Ministry has stated that the Maldivian government appreciates the valuable role played by the UN team in Maldives amid the ongoing COVID-pandemic to provide the necessary expertise, support and assistance required to overcome not only the health emergency but also for the long-term planning and recovery to build back better.
“The event today is a testimony to the power of partnerships to overcome the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States such as the Maldives,” said the Foreign Ministry.