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.”


President returns to the Maldives

After their official visits to Bhutan and China, President Mohamed Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali have returned to the Maldives.

The president visited Bhutan for the Sixteenth South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, which was held in Thimphu on 28 and 29 of April.

President Nasheed met with several SAARC country leaders during his first visit to a SAARC summit.

They departed for China after the summit to attend the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and inaugurate the Maldives Pavilion at the fair.

The president also met with Chinese President Hu Jinato and with Honourary Consuls to the Maldives in China.

First Lady Laila Ali also met with the Honourary Consul in Shanghai, who donated US$20,000 to Kudakudhige Hiya home for children in Vilingili.


President meets with Honourary Consuls in China

As part of their official visit to China, President Mohamed Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali met with Honourary Consuls to the Maldives in China.

President Nasheed met with Honourary Consul in Shainghai, Yang Guisheng, and with Honourary Consul in Hong Kong, Bob N Harulela.

President Nasheed called for more dynamic roles of Honourary Consuls in the development of the Maldives, noting they could play an important role in developing stronger relations and increasing commercial ties between the Maldives and their countries.

The president noted the areas the Maldives needed most assistance, and the consuls assured assistance to the Maldives and said they would be more engaged in finding new investments for the Maldives.