OFID pledges US$ 20 mln loan assistance to the Maldives

OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has pledged an emergency loan assistance of US$ 20 million to the Maldives.

The decision was made during a meeting held between the board directors of OFID on Thursday. The group also pledged assistance of US$ 25 million to other countries.

OFID said the loan was extended to Maldives to mitigate the losses caused to the archipelago's economy due to the negative impacts on tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan was pledged in addition to grant assistance.

The government is working tirelessly to figure out ways to increase state revenue at the vulnerable time. The government has revealed that it would seek grants and loans from foreign parties. The European Union recently provided a grant funding of EUR 3 million to the archipelago.

Maldives have registered 29 positive cases of COVID-19 thus far. While the first case of local transmission was identified in capital Male' on Wednesday, authorities expect a spike in numbers over the next several days. The capital city is now on a 24-hour lockdown for 14 days.