The World Bank has stated that it will assist the Maldives in rebuilding its COVID-19 hit economy.
Faris H. Hadad-Zervos the Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka of the World Bank visited the Maldives during efforts by the Maldives in coordination with the World Bank to rebuild its economy and overcome the effects of the pandemic economically and on the health sector.
The visit came after the World Bank published the World Bank Maldives Development Update: A Digital Dawn report on April 15.
The report highlighted the massive damage caused to the Maldivian economy due to the pandemic and the future projections for the economy.
The World Bank in the report estimated a 17.1 percent growth for the Maldivian economy as the tourist sector slowly resurges and tourist arrivals start to grow. It also stated how the Maldivian economic development route can be revolutionized through the use of digital technology.
The Director during his visit met with a number of cabinet members of the Maldivian government and oversaw the developments of numerous World Bank run projects in the Maldives. The cabinet members met include Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam, Environment Minister Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan as well as Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail. Other meetings were also held with central bank MMA Governor Ali Hashim and senior officials of the Communications and Technology Ministry.
The discussions ranged on topics such as the effects of the pandemic on the Maldivian economy. The Director pledged the support and assistance of the World Bank to the Maldives during these meetings in order to rebuild the nation's economy.
The World Bank has already assisted the Maldives during the pandemic with a fast aid package of USD 7.3 million in April of last year. Other than that, USD 10 million was provided as financial assistance under the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown as well as a USD 952,000 pandemic emergency facility.
Other than this, the World Bank also assisted in running the income support project of the Maldives for those individuals who suffered income or employment losses during the pandemic, as well as the extension of the same project up until January of 2021.
The World Bank currently runs 10 projects worth USD 182 million in the Maldives.