Maldives announces US$313 million in pledges at Donor Conference

Speaking at the close of the 2010 Maldives Donor Conference, Vice President Dr Mohammed Waheed Hassan announced that the government has received pledges of support totalling US$313 million for a period of three years.

The crowded hall of donors at Bandos Island Resort and Spa included delegations from countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan and Norway, as well as international financial groups such as the International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank and the sovereign wealth Abu Dhabi Fund. A breakdown of the pledges is not currently available, Minivan News was told, as several donor countries had requested time to consult their home agencies before solidifying the figure.

In the run-up to the donor conference the government identified key priority areas for investment, alongside budgetary support: macro economic reform, public sector reform, good governance, social development and climate change.

“I am grateful for the confidence you have shown in our country,” Dr Hassan told the donors. “This conference has been an opportunity for us to listen to donors’ views, and we have identified ways to up our coordination and cooperation with the donor community,” he said.

The government had been aiming for US$450 million, he said, although several senior government officials later told Minivan News that they considered “60-80 per cent of that target” a major success. Furthermore, they claimed, a great deal of ‘behind-the-scenes’ negotiations over the two day event would likely lead to further commitments.

There was, Dr Hassan said in his address, “an abundance of goodwill and more assistance will be forthcoming with more follow up from our side.”

He promised donors the government would “work with you to strengthen our management system”, and said the participation of donors was “a vote of confidence in this government and our strong democratic mandate.”

“You have heard about many of the challenges over the past two days. The fact that drug addiction is the biggest problem among our young. The fact that clean water is still a challenge on many islands. The fact that reducing the soaring budget deficit has been painful in an economy over-dependent on government expenditure,” Dr Hassan said.

Furthermore, he said, “democracy remains fragile in the Maldives. We must work to guard the civil society and protect the freedom of the press. We must work hard to consolidate our hard earned freedom. Much progress has been made. But more work needs to be carried out, and we cannot deliver this vital thing on our own.”

In his closing comments, Dr Hassan acknowledged that the Maldives was known around the world less for its social and economic challenges, “and more for our commitment to confronting the issue of climate change – our commitment to carbon neutrality is the strongest in the world.”

“Although we are a very vulnerable country to sea level rise I should make clear that we are not going anywhere. Not yet.”

The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr Peter Hayes said he commended the Maldives “on the significant progress it has achieved as a young democracy working in a challenging economic climate.”

“In an era where international partnerships are vital, I welcome the proactive approach to international engagement the Maldives has taken,” Dr Hayes said.


5 thoughts on “Maldives announces US$313 million in pledges at Donor Conference”

  1. When we took over government, we needed $100 Million in emergency assistance to just carry on with normal government functions for the first three months.

    Will $300 Million for three years be enough?

  2. Salim, Our President got 300 million dollars in the first 15 days in Office, so even if we get 5% of the pledge money, we will survive for another 10 years.

  3. Salim, who are u representing here? the government? DQP? or what? because you said "when WE took over the government." and for the last few days you have been spilling some behind the scene "secrets" of the coalition here.

  4. My point is we are dependent on foreign aid. When we took over government, we were so dependent on it that we need $100 Million just to function for the first 3 months. That's how mismanaged things were when we came into power.

    Furthermore, 5% of $313 Million (how much is pledged) is $15 Million dollars. We are so dependent on foreign aid revenue for our basic governance that I can promise you it won't last a year, let alone 10. The previous administration used aid as a form of rent, being used to buy off the people and institute a system of patronage making our citizens dependent upon the State.

    By reducing the Civil Service, this administration is trying to correct some of the ills of the past.

    My question is this, considering our running costs, development costs, massive debt, and our dependence on aid - will 300 million be enough for the duration of this term in office?

  5. Salim, I thought you are much wiser than this. Nowhere in the world donors has given what they have pledged. Palestine, Tsunami hit countries, Haiti Africa etc. etc. here you keep saying will 300 million be enough? I say Govt wont even get 5% of that...How long can we be fooled? we will see the big SPIN DOCTOR on TV boasting about this "acheivement" soon


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