World Bank extends US$10 mln assistance to Maldives

The World Bank has extended an assistance of US$ 10 million to the Maldives in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih made the announcement at a press conference held Wednesday.

In his remarks, the president said discussions are ongoing with friendly nationals and international organizations on tackling the current economic crisis faced by the Maldives.

In this regard, the World Bank will be contributing US$ 10 million to aid the Maldives, said the president. The government is also working on securing assistance from other key financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and OPEC, revealed the president.

Assuring that the government does not intend to decrease the salaries of workers or make them redundant, President Solih said the government's policy will be to pump the economy while borrowing where possible.

The government is also in discussion with countries that have extended loan facilities to Maldives to work out any possible adjustments in loan repayment that could alleviate the current financial situation faced by the country, said the president.

The Maldives economy has been severely affected due to travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 fears. The tourist arrivals have declined significantly, and the decision to close the country's borders will cause even a more significant blow to the archipelago's vulnerable economy. As a result of this decline, the Maldives is now facing a serious shortfall in foreign currency earning, estimated to be at USD 450 million.