The Maldives government has provided the opportunities for the families of Maldivians in Sri Lanka to send care packages via a cargo flight to Colombo.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbouring Sri Lanka is currently in lockdown and has declared a curfew to curb the spread of the virus. While some Maldivians are unable to return the country, Maldivians in Sri Lanka are having difficulties in obtaining some essential goods.
The cargo flight is chartered by the government and will fly to Colombo every Sunday. Foreign Ministry said those who wish to send basic necessities to the Maldivians residing in Sri Lanka may fill a form and submit to the ministry.
An announcement issued by Foreign Ministry on Monday night stated the national carrier, Maldivian will be flying to Sri Lanka to bring cargo to the country next Sunday. Therefore, the government wishes to provide the opportunity for the family members living in Male’ to send necessities to their family residing in Sri Lanka.
Since the carrier will fly once a week to Sri Lanka, every family can send a maximum of 15kg of goods. It further stated that only necessities and medicines that are not available Sri Lanka, are allowed to be sent.
Goods that are allowed
• Fish cans
• Rihaakuru (only from MIFCO, ENZI or in original packaging)
• Fish packets/Fried leaves packets (packets sold in shops)
Goods that are not allowed
• Raw fish
• Short eats/pastries
According to the Foreign Ministry, preference will be given in the order the forms are submitted to the ministry – “first come first serve basis” since only a limited amount can be carried per trip.
The items have to be submitted to Male' City Checking Office iat Greater Male’ Bus Station, every Saturday between 0900 hours to 1300 hours, said the ministry.