The Japanese government, on Sunday, provided grant aid of USD 5.6 million (600,000,000 Japanese yen) to Maldives in order to promote further socio-economic development.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Japanese Ambassador to Maldives Keiko Yanai signed the grant agreement at a function held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Deputy Minister of Health Shiyam Mohamed and Chief Executive of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) joined the ceremony via video-conferencing.
In addition to supporting government efforts to upgrade healthcare services provided by atolls and regional hospitals across the archipelago, the grant is intended to strengthen the country's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Grant aid will be utilised to procure 10 bedside X-ray machines, 65 bedside monitors, 19 portable ultrasound image diagnostic systems, 200 automated external defibrillators and 160 syringe pumps.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador stressed the importance of international cooperation in curbing the pandemic and reiterated Japan’s commitment to contribute to global COVID-19 response efforts.
Minister Shahid expressed sincere gratitude to Japan for their aid amid the Maldivian government's endeavours to manage the community spread of COVID-19.
In May, the Japanese government also provided a grant of USD 356,400 for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Maldives and USD 185,000 for Maldives Red Crescent to support the island nation's COVID-19 response.
Additionally, Japan committed a grant of USD 1.4 million to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives to support small and medium enterprises in agri-businesses impacted by the pandemic.