World Bank Group on Tuesday signed an agreement to grant USD 12 million for the public finance management project of the Maldives.
At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the contract was signed by Minister Ahmed Munawwar while the World Bank was represented by its Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough.
Speaking at the ceremony, Munawwar revealed that the World Bank was providing 50 percent of the USD 12 million as free aid.
Highlighting that the international financial institution has been working in partnership with the Maldivian government for several years, the minister stated that the funds granted under this new agreement will be used to improve the framework of the Maldives' financial system, reform public finance and the fiscal reporting system, and manage debts among other efforts.
Country Director for the Maldives, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, stated that the World Bank has decided to continue cooperative efforts with the Maldivian government in light of significant financial reforms brought about by the administration.
She noted that the reform work of the financial sector has led to improvements in compiling and implementing the state budget, and acknowledged the government's decision to publicize budget details on the finance ministry's website, which she said was imperative for national progress.
Further highlighting that the government also publicizes the budget details for development projects, Pswarayi-Riddihough also noted that the audits of the 2016 finance management statements are currently underway and will be made available to the public. She stated that such reasons were why the World Bank opted to continue its work with the Maldives, adding that it was important to share details of the budgeting process with the public.