The state, on Tuesaday, awarded the contract for setting up the Drug detoxification Centre in Hulhudhoo, Addu City.
The contract was awarded in a ceremony held at the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.
Funded through an MVR 8 million grant assistance from India, the project was awarded within two weeks of signing of the MoU for its implementation on November 9, during the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla to the Maldives.
The Drug Detox Centre is among the 30 small and medium High-Impact Community Development projects that are being carried out under a total grant assistance of approximately MVR 200 million (USD 13 million) from India.
Once completed, the detox centre will provide detoxification, community rehabilitation and residential rehabilitation services, through which, the centre will also help in the reduction of crimes associated with drug abuse and will contributing in bringing peace and harmony to the local island population.
As substance abuse within local island communities is a serious issue that Maldivian authorities have been grappling with for some time now, experts have noted an alarming rise in the number of children and adolescents engaging in the use of drugs.
The Indian High Commission acknowledged that while there are four drug rehabilitation centres in Maldives, “a pressing need is felt for more centres to meet the demands of a large number of clients for drug detoxification and community rehabilitation services”.
“India is, therefore, honoured to support a project that will provide rehabilitation services to drug addicts and comfort and respite to their families and the larger island communities”.
According to the High Commission, the focus of India’s development assistance in the Maldives has been to support projects that benefit the local communities as well as build big infrastructure projects which benefit Maldivian economy and “strengthen the foundation of a strong and prosperous Maldives”.