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Saudi Fund's assistance so far amounts to USD 470 million

SFD funded the connecting bridges of Hulhumalé Phase 2 which was inaugurated today. In the inauguration CEO of SFD highlighted that the Fund has provided USD 470 million in assistance to Maldives so far.

Ameera Osmanagic
17 May 2024, MVT 18:53
SFD and Maldivian high level officials view the connecting bridges built with SFD assistance -- Photo: Mihaaru
Ameera Osmanagic
17 May 2024, MVT 18:53

CEO of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad today said that the institution will always want to assist in the sustainable development projects of the Maldives, and revealed that the fund has contributed USD 470 million (MVR 7.2 billion) for 16 different projects in the country so far.

Sultan Abdulrahman, who arrived in Maldives today, spoke at the ceremony to inaugurate the connecting bridges of Hulhumalé Phase 2 and detailed that SFD has maintained a very close relationship with Maldives over the past 47 years, highlighting Hulhumalé Phase 1 and 2 as testament to the fact.

He also added that the fund also provided assistance to the recent mega water and sewerage connection projects taking place in the Maldives. SFD has also provided loan assistance to the ongoing Velana International Airport (VIA) development project.

The connecting bridge project inaugurated today comprises of five bridges in total, all which have water flowing beneath them. The USD 80 million (MVR 1.5 billion) project funded by SFD was executed by China State Engineering and Construction Company (CSECC).

Although inaugurated officially today, they have been in use since 2020.

Four of the five bridges connect to the main for roads of Hulhumalé Phase one, with the fifth bridge connecting the Urban Isle in Hulhumalé Phase 2 to the isolated tourism zone area in Hulhumalé Phase 2.

Sultan Abdulrahman, also added in his speech that the bridges would aid in the expansion of businesses and economic activity in the area. He went on to say that projects like this prove that important projects can be implemented in collaboration with SFD, and that the Fund remains committed to implement more projects like this in partnership with Maldives.

Finance Minister Dr Mohamed Shafeeq also spoke on the occasion, highlighting that the 160,000 people who reside in Hulhumalé Phase 2 would greatly benefit from these bridges and that SFD has always been an important presence in the Maldives' development projects.

"Maldives and Saudi [Arabia]'s relationship is built on respect and trust. Channel bridges will significantly ease transport [in the area]," minister Shafeeq said, underscoring that the bridges represent the strong bond between both countries.

Maldives will partner with SFD to implement such projects in the future as well, he said.