The governments of Maldives and Japan, on Wednesday, finalised the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Japanese Ambassador to Maldives Keiko Yanai signed the Exchange of Notes at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Valued at 128 million Japanese Yen (approximately USD 1.2 million), the project entails the provision of six fully funded scholarships for Master’s Degrees in social science at top universities in Japan.
Commencing from April 2021, the programme will continue for 4 years and benefit a total of 24 Maldivian students.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Higher Education will jointly implement the project.
The scholarships are intended to support human resource development by targeting capable young civil servants who will be expected to participate in policy formulation and the implementation of socioeconomic development policies in the future. Recipients of the scholarships are also expected to make contributions to enhancing bilateral ties between Maldives and Japan.
Overall, the JDS project has been implemented in 15 countries since 1999, with Maldives becoming a recent partner.
Japan has continued to extend considerable aid to Maldives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On July 5, the Japanese government provided grant aid of USD 5.6 million to Maldives in order to upgrade healthcare services provided by atolls and regional hospitals across the archipelago.
Earlier 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.