The economy of Maldives will need to be more inclusive for the country to reach advanced economy status, says the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director assigned to Maldives and Sri Lanka, Reed Aeschliman.
This was revealed by the USAID Mission Director during an exclusive interview with RaajjeTV, where he talked about some of the projects the agency has conducted in the Maldives, and the projects the agency is most proud of.
An enthusiastic Aeschliman revealed that he is “proud of all of them” before shedding light on a project focusing on the vulnerable youth that are unemployed, do not have the skills to get a job or those that are struggling in the grasp of narcotics abuse.
So we have one project that's focusing on the vulnerable youth, you know, youth that are unemployed, youth that maybe don't have the skills to get a job or youth that are maybe, you know, got in trouble with drugs and then working with those youth within the communities to support, you know, their whether it's their psychosocial needs or whether it's career counseling, helping them get into a vocational education kind of training. And then, of course, finding a job So that is that is one project that I think will have some meaningful impact.”Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Going on to touch down on recent activities that mirrored the goodwill of the U.S. government, Aeschliman stated that USAID has had the opportunity to partner with the Maldives and support in its Covid-19 response efforts.
In accordance with USAID’s “core value” to extend a helping hand and support to host countries “at a time of need”, U.S. donated 400,000 Pfizer vaccines to the Maldives and worked in partnership with the Ministry of Health to ensure the administration of vaccine doses in successful.
This, coupled with the 60 ventilators gifted by the U.S. government that have reached 60 different islands so far along with other equipment and consumables like gloves and masks going out to the Maldivian people has been a good thing, said the Mission Director.
We were very happy to kind of step up during the pandemic to try to support the Maldives”Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Highlighting the strong diplomatic ties the U.S. and the Maldives have enjoyed for decades and how USAID has contributed to developing these ties, Aeschliman stated that the relations have progressed in recent times.
Yes, our relationship has gone back for some time, and we have developed that relationship in recent times. I think since 2001, USAID has invested USD 50 million into the Maldives. You know, some of that early investment was in the environment also when the unfortunately when the tsunami hit in 2004. we provided about USD 12 million of assistance, humanitarian assistance really in the wake of all of the tsunami And then one project we did some time ago was a partially solar powered desalination water plant in Hinnavaru Island that provides safe drinking water to 5,000 residents there. More recently, since my time I arrived, as I said earlier in 2018 in 2019, we signed a formal development objective agreement with the government of the Maldives.”Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director to Maldives and Sri Lanka.