The governments of Maldives and Japan have signed an Exchange of Notes, which facilitates a Covid-19 Response Emergency Loan of USD 47.5 million to the island nation.
The Exchange of Notes were signed at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday morning, where Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid signed on behalf of the Maldivian government and Japanese Ambassador Keiko Yanai signed on held of Japan.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Shahid expressed the government’s sincere appreciation to the government and people of Japan, and thanked them for the “continued generosity shown towards the Maldives in its efforts towards economic recovery and stabilisation.”
He also noted that that Japan has remained a very special friend and steadfast ally, and share a long-standing and time-tested relationship that has spanned for decades.
Under the Exchange of Notes, which is a precursor to the signing of a formal Loan Agreement, a concessional loan of USD 47.5 million (or five billion Japanese Yen) will be extended to the Maldives.
This, the foreign ministry noted “would be the largest amount of concessional borrowing that Japan has extended to the Maldives in its long history of cooperation and partnership, and reflects the close bilateral relations both countries presently enjoy.”
It added that the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan will be utilized by the government to support the ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic in the country.
Earlier in August, Shahid signed an agreement with Ambassador Yanai, to provide scholarships for 24 Maldivian students.
Further, an Exchange of Notes for a grant aid worth USD 5.6 million was signed in June, to equip and improve the health services at atolls and regional hospitals across the country. And in May, Japan provided a grant of USD 356,400 for UNICEF Maldives and USD 185,000 for Maldives Red Crescent to assist the Maldivian government’s Covid-19 response efforts. It has also committed a grant of USD 1.4 million to the UNDP Maldives in support of small and medium enterprises in agri-businesses affected by Covid-19.