India Extends $250 Million In Financial Support To Maldives To Overcome Impact Of Covid-19
People walk past the Maldivian flag painted on a wall in Male, the Maldives. (Photographer: Daniel J. Groshong/Bloomberg News)

India Extends $250 Million In Financial Support To Maldives To Overcome Impact Of Covid-19

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India has provided financial assistance of $250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian embassy in that country said on Sunday. The country, which depends primarily on revenue from tourism, has been hit hard by the pandemic.

The grant, provided under the most favourable terms possible, was in response to the request for assistance made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overcome the difficult economic situation in the Maldives.

A handover ceremony was held on Sunday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Maldives to mark the occasion in the presence of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir and CEO, SBI, Male Bharat Mishra, the embassy said in a statement.

The financial assistance was announced first during a virtual meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and provided through a bond sale to State Bank of India, Male which has a tenure of 10 years for repayment, it said.

In its statement, the Indian embassy said that the India-Maldives partnership is unique and the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted this. India will continue to stand by the people and Government of Maldives during these difficult times, it said.

Besides financial aid, India has also provided other assistance to Maldives.

A team of doctors and other specialists visited the Maldives in March to assist in preparedness to combat the pandemic. A consignment of 5.5 tonnes of essential medicines was donated in April, while another consignment of 6.2 tonnes of medicines was airlifted from four Indian cities to Male by the Indian Air Force, and 580 tonnes of food aid was provided in May.

India also lifted export restrictions on medical consumables, respiratory apparatus, and testing kits and reagents throughout the pandemic to assist Maldives in its battle against Covid-19.

On the request of the Government of Maldives, India will also send doctors and nurses recruited on short-term contracts to reinforce the health system in the Maldives in the battle against Covid-19.

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