USAID provides USD 2.4 mln in grant aid

The United States for International Development (USAID) has signed a $2.4 million grant agreement with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology.

Under the assistance, the wetlands of B. Goidhoo and the reefs of Goidhoo, Fulhadhoo, and Fehendhoo island will be protected and preserved. The Environment Ministry said the agreement with USAID also includes establishing an eco-tourism model.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Environment Minister Aiminath Shauna said the government is looking into ways to establish recreational facilities related to wetlands and other natural environments. The beauty of such places attracts tourists to the areas, she said.

At the ceremony, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Gabriel Grau said that USAID aims to work with the Ministry of Environment to protect the natural environment. Gabriel said there are many benefits to protecting wetlands, including providing increased protection against tidal surges.

The Environment Ministry said the aid is the fourth grant awarded this year under USAID's Climate Adaptation Project. The project is a $10.5 million project run for five years.