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SAARC Development Fund commences 6th Counterpart Meeting

Ahmed Aiham
24 October 2019, MVT 11:47
The eight-member states of SAARC are represented by their respective counterpart agencies during the meeting. PHOTO: SAARC DEVELOPMENT FUND
Ahmed Aiham
24 October 2019, MVT 11:47

SAARC Development Fund (SDF) held its Counterpart Meeting in capital Male' City on Wednesday.

During the meeting, counterpart agencies comprised of focal points nominated by member states' finance ministries, will review and discuss key areas to promote "regional integration and economic cooperation".

Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail was in attendance at the inaugural session and stated that Maldives will propose more projects for co-financing in the future.

SDF's CEO Dr Sunil Motiwal noted that communications between SDF and the Maldivian government were "slow" and urged the administration to fully utilize its total capital base of USD 511.52 million.

Dr Motiwal went on to say that the "Counterpart Agencies have a very vital role in effective implementation of projects" and added that SDF is currently implementing 92 projects across the South Asian region.

According to the CEO, member states identified various sectors including energy, infrastructure, tourism, waste management and the export of marine products as key areas for development, and highlighted challenges in its loan pricing and lending requirements.

Projects implemented by SDF in Maldives

- Strengthening the livelihood initiative for home-based workers

- Strengthening Maternal and Child Health Including Immunization, South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC)

- Empowering Rural Communities: the establishment of community E- Centres

- Toll-Free Helplines for Women and Children

- 'Livelihood Enhancement of the Small Scale Farmers' through small scale agricultural business focusing on value chain development

SDF was established by the heads of the eight SAARC Member States in April 2010 as an umbrella financial institution for SAARC projects and programmes in this region. It aims to promote the welfare of people, improve their quality of life, and accelerate economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in South Asia.