World Bank extends support to Maldives’ workers impacted by COVID-19

The World Bank will provide an additional financing of $21.6 million to further help Maldives mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on poor and vulnerable workers and their families.

A press release issued by the World Bank said the additional financing will be utilized to expand the existing COVID-19 Emergency Income Support Project, which was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in June 2020 with funding of $12.8 million. It will help finance the extended duration of the Government’s COVID-19 Income Support Allowance scheme by continuing to provide temporary support of up to MVR 5,000 (approximately $322) per month to workers who have lost their jobs or income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Emergency Income Support Project is implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development with support from the National Social Protection Authority and Maldives Pension Administration Office. The total additional financing is $21.6 million, which is fully covered under a grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries. With the additional financing, the total cost of the COVID-19 Emergency Income Support Project is $34.4 million, including the $6.4 million grant and $6.4 million credit initially provided by the IDA.

The World Bank responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives in April 2020 with a $7.3 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help the country prevent, detect and strengthen its public health preparedness. In addition, $10 million in contingency financing, under Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option, and Pandemic Emergency Facility of $952,000 have also been made available to support Maldives. The World Bank portfolio in the Maldives currently consists of 10 active operations with total net commitment of $148 million.