Your Excellency Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor, Hon’ble Ministers and senior officials from the Implementing agencies,
Hon’ble Members of Parliament,
I am delighted to participate in this signing-ceremony of MOUs for execution of 7 new High Impact Grant Projects in the Maldives. These projects were announced during the recent visit of our External Affairs Minister to Maldives.
Development cooperation is the central pillar of India-Maldives partnership. It has witnessed huge expansion in recent years as has the broader partnership under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. There is a strong desire among the leadership and people of India to further strengthen the bonds of friendship with the Maldives and we see that this desire is fully shared and reciprocated by the leadership and people of the Maldives.
Friends, the development partnership between India and Maldives today ranges upward of USD 2.6 billion. It covers mega infrastructure projects; medium-scale socially impactful projects; highly concessional loans; budgetary support as well as capacity building and training support. Most importantly, our development partnership is transparent and driven by the needs and priorities of the people and Government of Maldives.
We have now entered a new phase in our development partnership where projects are taking off and getting delivered. We recently witnessed inauguration of several projects during the visit of External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to Addu.
High Impact grant projects are special as they directly touch the lives of island communities and build their capacities.
The 7 high-impact projects that we are committing to undertake today add to 20 such projects already under execution across Maldives. The combined value of these new projects is about MVR 27 million. The projects are spread across 7 Atolls of the Maldives – from the northern atoll of Haa Dhaalu to the southernmost atoll of Addu. They cover a variety of sectors - healthcare, sports, youth development and heritage conservation.
I am deeply grateful to Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State Ahmed Khaleel, Foreign Secretary and the entire India desk team at the Foreign Ministry for monitoring the implementation of these grant projects in coordination with the concerned agencies.
I am confident that these new projects will also be implemented in a timely manner and will stand as worthy symbols of India-Maldives partnership.