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COVID-19: Maldives applies for USD 5 bln aid package from AIIB

Mariyam Malsa
04 April 2020, MVT 10:53
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank president Jin Liqun. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Mariyam Malsa
04 April 2020, MVT 10:53

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun revealed that Maldives has submitted an application seeking to obtain an aid package, from the USD 5 billion in aid that the bank is offering to member countries.

AIIB introduced the aid packages in an effort to avert a financial crisis in the Asian region, with the proposed amount expected to fulfill the requirements of member countries for 18 months when combined with other lending programmes.

Till date, 20 of AIIB’s 78 members have requested the bank’s assistance in their respective relief efforts against the virus.

In addition to AIIB, the Maldivian government is currently working to secure USD 50 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as USD 30 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the effort to counteract the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the World Bank approved the decision to grant Maldives USD 7.3 million to fund a COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project. The World Bank has also enabled Maldives to utilise the USD 10 million contingency financing signed in 2019 under Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO).

It is estimated that Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy will face a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In order to offset resulting financial impacts, the government introduced a MVR 2.5 billion financial stimulus package intended to prevent the closure of local businesses and the loss of jobs.

Presently, Maldives records 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1,098,400 people and claimed over 59,100 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 228,900 people have recovered.

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