'International aid vital for national resilience efforts' : Pres Solih

The Maldives is in crucial need of foreign aid and cooperation to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s president has said. The president made the remark while speaking at the annual Independence Day Reception for diplomats, which was held virtually this year.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih acknowledged that this year’s Independence Day - which is celebrated on 26 July - fell during extraordinary times. The world is still feeling the effects of the virus and the Maldives is no exception. Covid-19 threatens to undo the socio-economic strides the archipelago has made since independence, and has forced the country to make difficult decisions, including closing its borders for months, despite the tourism dependent nation’s heavy reliance on tourism.

The President expressed that early and comprehensive government interventions has enabled the Maldives to enter the recovery stage. He stated that the support and goodwill of the international community remains vital to the Maldives’ national resilience efforts. He stressed in particular that the Maldives needs visitors to reinvigorate its tourism industry, and highlighted the many precautions the Maldives has implemented in its self-contained island-resorts, to prioritize the safety of guests.

Reiterating the promise he made in his inaugural address, the President pledged to keep working with the international community to solve global issues, including recovering from COVID-19, and solving climate change. He emphasized that while the Maldives cherishes its independence we equally value being a contributing member of the global community. Ending his remarks, the President expressed his hope that all the dignitaries virtually present at the reception, can be soon welcomed on the Maldives’ beautiful shores.