Indian High Commission donates MVR 125,000 to ARC

The Indian High Commission donates MVR 125,000 (US$8,149) to children’s rights NGO Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC).

At a meeting held at the Indian High Commission, the donation was handed to ARC’s managing director Haula Ahmed Didi by the Indian High Commissioner, Rajeev Shahare.

Speaking at the ceremony, Shahare said that along with the donation there was also an agreement to train 26 special educational needs teachers at India.

“This is an area where we are very keen to help out in. India is likely to help out in this field in the future,” said the high commissioner.

Speaking from ARC, Haula said that the donation had come at a very important time for the organisation.


China donates 250,000 energy efficient LED lights to the Maldives

China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) donated 250,000 LED tube lights, amounting to 24 million Chinese Yuan (US$3,869,345), to the Maldivian government to assist with combating negative climate change impacts, reports local media.

The energy efficient LED lights were donated as part of China’s provision of goods to address climate change program.

The Maldives Minister of Environment and Energy, Dr Mariyam Shakeela received the donation presented by China’s NDRC Deputy Director, Mr Meng Xiangyue, on April 1.

Shakeela told Sun Online the lights will be distributed to various islands and the reduced power consumption will save a large percentage of money.

“This is a gratis donation to us from the Chinese Government. We will distribute the lights to all islands in the country. How we will go about this will be announced at a later date,” stated Shakeela.

Shakeela also stated this Chinese government assistance to replace inefficient lights will “play a tremendous role” in reducing electricity demands.

She further “expressed hope” this donation would further strengthen the bilateral relationship between the Maldives and China, in addition to combating climate change impacts.

Bilateral talks between the two governments were held following the donation ceremony to further strengthen climate change cooperation, as well as “discuss approaches, areas and mechanisms for future cooperation,” reads the Ministry of Environment and Energy news statement.


China donates over US$20 million in financial assistance

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.”


Details of funds pledged at Donor Conference will only be available with donor’s consent

World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Naoko Ishii, said details of the pledges made at the Donor Conference would only be released with consent from the donors.

Speaking at a press conference after the closing session of the conference yesterday, Ishii said some countries did not want to publicly announce the exact figures of their pledges.

She added that many of them had internal procedures which prevented them from announcing the figures at this time, and they needed to discuss and approve the pledges in their home countries before announcements were made.

Senior government officials said many countries’ fiscal years did not begin in January, like Australia and Japan, for example, which meant their pledges would not come into force until the beginning of their new fiscal year.

President Mohamed Nasheed said this year’s pledges surmounted the amounts of previous years because the international donor community did not have faith in the previous government.

He added that donors are confident of the democratic system of the Maldives and the support from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), making this year the most successful Donor Conference to date.