The Chinese government has made two generous donations to the Maldives in the past week, adding to over US$20 million in aid.
Press Secretary for the President’s Office, Mohamed Zuhair, confirmed the Chinese government has granted 50 million Chinese Yuan (US$20 million) in aid plus US$20,000 to go directly to Kudakudhige Hiya children’s home in Vilingili.
The shelter has been experiencing staff shortages recently due to financial difficulties.
Zuhair said the bulk of the money would be allocated towards helping the Maldives “overcome the challenges of the global economic recession,” specifically in infrastructure, sewerage and utilities, roads and climate change adaptation.
He noted the money had not been officially allocated yet and would be looked into shortly.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem, said the money had not yet been officially granted and it was “premature to talk about it” until the final figures came from the Chinese government.
Spokesman Mr Lieu at the Chinese embassy to the Maldives in Colombo confirmed the figure of 50 million Chinese Yuan and added, “the Chinese government has tried its best to help its friend.”
The Chinese government also assisted with the construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the National Museum, which is still under construction.
The money for the Vilingili orphanage was announced by Honourary Consul to the Maldives in Shanghai, Yang Guisheng. The donation was received by First Lady Laila Ali while on an official trip to China last week.
The first lady thanked Guisheng for the generous donation and said the assistance was much needed for a centre like Kudakudhige Hiya.
Deputy Minister of Health and Family Mariya Ali said the funds ”will really help” the centre, and will be prioritised towards “enforcing security in the building.”