The signing ceremony of seven Memoranda of Understanding between the Government of Maldives and Government of India took place yesterday at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These MoUs will be implemented under Indian grant assistance scheme for High Impact Community Development Project through local bodies (HICDP).
The MoUs were signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid on behalf of the Government of Maldives and the High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Munu Mahawar, on behalf of the Government of India, and the respective implementing agencies. The ceremony was attended by respective Members of Parliament, Island Councils, senior officials from the Government of Maldives and the High Commission of India.
Speaking at the ceremony, Foreign Minister Shahid noted that the projects launched under the MoUs will strengthen Government’s efforts in fostering socio-economic development in local communities by promoting health and wellbeing, empowerment of youth and preservation and protection of culture and heritage. Minister Shahid also expressed his profound gratitude to the Government of India for the key role India plays in promoting socio-economic development of Maldives.
The projects launched under the MoUs signed yesterday are worth a total grant of 26.8 million Rufiya (MVR 26,802,328) (equivalent to approximately 1.7 million USD). The projects include establishing a mental health centre at Addu Equatorial Hospital, a speech a therapy unit at Kulhudhufushi Regional Hospital, prosthetics and orthotics manufacturing workshop at Hulhumale’ Hospital, preservation of cultural places in Noonu Landhoo Maabudhuge and Thaa Dhiyamigili Ganduvaru, development of a multi sports complex in Noonu Manadhoo and developing youth centres in Gaafu Alif Gemanafushi and Alif Dhaalu Dhigurah.
The overarching Memorandum of Understanding on Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects through local bodies, was initially signed between the Governments of the Maldives and India on 17 March 2019 for a total grant of 85 million Rufiya and renewed with an increment up to 155 million Rufiya (equivalent to approximately 10 million USD), on 23 July 2021. The announcement to undertake seven new projects for implementation under this scheme, was made during the Official Visit of Minister of External Affairs of India, His Excellency Dr. S. Jaishankar to Addu City last month.
Apart from the projects launched yesterday, eighteen projects are currently underway under this grant scheme. They include the establishment of Geydhoshu Mas Plant (Neighbourhood Fish Processing Plants) in Hithadhoo, Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo of Addu City, and Noonu Kendhikulhudhoo; Development of tourism zones in Hithadhoo, Feydhoo, Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo of Addu City; Agricultural Linkages Project in Haa Dhaal Hanimaadhoo; Establishing a Water Bottling Factory in Haa Alif Hoarafushi; the acquisition of two sea ambulances; strengthening inclusive education support units in three schools, in G.Dh. Thinadhoo, L. Gan and HA. Dhidhdhoo; development of an ice plant in L. Maabaidhoo; Olympus hall upgrading project; construction of a multi-purpose council building in N. Miladhoo; construction of Dhangethi Cultural Centre and installation of street lights in Th. Thimarafushi and Th. Veymandoo. Two projects under this scheme; Vilunu drug rehabilitation facility and the Mulimathi tourism zone both in Addu City were inaugurated during the recent visit of Minister of External Affairs, His Excellency Dr. S. Jaishankar to Addu City.