The Government of Malaysia has pledged US$200,000 to the ‘Malé Water Crisis Management Fund’, while Japan is also reported to have given MVR13.9 million (US$903,000) to the Malé Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC).
The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the Malaysian contribution via Twitter.
The government hopes to raise US$20 million to protect against future incidents, though the opposition and civil society groups have raised questions over the transparency of the fund.
— MFA-Maldives (@MDVForeign) December 17, 2014
China has already donated US$500,000 to the fund, while an anonymous Saudi donor immediately pledged US$1 million during the crisis, which left 130,000 residents of Malé without running water for seven days this month.
From within the Maldives, Universal Chairman Mohamed Umar Manik, Champa Brothers, Trans Maldivian Airways, and the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation have all donated US$100,000, while telecoms company Ooredoo has donated US$200,000.
Haveeru has reported that Japan has gifted the MVR13.9 million to fully repair the damage caused by the December 4 fire, though it is not yet clear whether the money has been given to the government’s fund or directly to the state-owned MWSC.
“Japan hopes that because of its donation, the residents of Malé City will have continuous access to clean drinking water,” Haveeru quoted a Japanese statement as saying.
Additionally, US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal has this week said the US intends to work with the Maldives on “long-term water production and distribution assessments” and to develop rain-water catchment and desalinisation projects to ensure clean drinking water.
Relief efforts included the arrival of fresh water supplies in multiple Indian military aircraft as well as passenger aircraft from China and Sri Lanka. Additionally, India sent two naval vessels, with China and Bangladesh also sending ships.
Both the UN in Maldives and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives praised domestic relief efforts during the crisis, which were led by the Maldives National Defence Force, alongside volunteers from the Maldives Red Crescent, who distributed free water throughout the capital.
Singapore provided technical assistance in repairing the damaged panels in the MWSC’s desalination plant.
Malaysia was among the countries thanked by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon earlier this week.
“The people and the Government of Maldives are heartened by the strong show of solidarity and humbled by the generosity of our friends,” wrote Dunya.
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