Income support to be issued until the end of the year

The Maldives’ government will continue to issue income support allowance to those whose livelihoods were affected due to COVID-19, until the end of the year.

The government has been issuing an income support allowance of MVR 5,000 per month under its Economic Relief Package for those whose employment was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, over MVR 143.8 million has been issued as income support to 11,814 individuals until now.

The Presidents’ Office Monday said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made the decision to extend the duration of issuing the income support until the end of December.

The World Bank is supplementing the government’s efforts to provide income support by US$ 12.8 million, which would allow for 13,000 people to claim the benefit. While a large number of locals are facing job loss due to the global pandemic, a study conducted by UNDP and the Economic Ministry found that the employment status of over 45,000 people were affected in the Maldives as a result of the global pandemic. According to the Tourism Employment Association, over 11,000 people working in the tourism ministry have been put on ‘no pay’ leaves. A second study conducted by the Maldives National University shows that the employment status of 5 out of every 10 person has been affected.

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15 after closing it earlier in March as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. After a rocky start, the number of tourist arrivals have been steadly increasing over the past few months. The country’s economy is expected to improve with the influx in number of tourist arrivals.