Hope is arriving “very soon” here in Maldives, assures High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Sunjay Sudhir, who on Saturday announced that India will dispatch Covid-19 vaccines to the island nation "soon".
He made these remarks at the inauguration event held for the ‘Ekuveni’ synthetic running track on Saturday evening.
Reaffirming the fact that the governments of Maldives and India have worked “shoulder-to-should” in dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian High Commissioner stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged that India, being the “pharmacy” of the globe will show “special consideration” for neighbors, “particularly” the Maldives, as the country witnesses the rolling out of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Describing this to be a historical and the largest programme in the world given the situation of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Sudhir reaffirmed that Maldives “will soon be receiving vaccines from India”, which proves once against that India will “always be the first to respond” in times of emergencies.
I want to reaffirm the fact that our governments have worked shoulder-to-shoulder in dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Across India, today, is a very historically, today we have witnessed the rolling out of the Covid-19 vaccine program which is perhaps the largest in the world. Prime Minister Modi has pledged that India being the pharmacy of the world will show special consideration for our friends in the neighborhood and in particular, the republic of Maldives. Maldives will soon be receiving vaccines from India once again proving that India will always be the first responder in times of emergency situation. I end with saying that hope is arriving very soon here in the Maldives"Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives
While Sudhir noted that vaccine from India will arrive very soon, Maldives is to receive its first batch of vaccines on January 26.
Further shedding light on the multiple assistance programmes conducted in support of the Maldives infrastructure development, at the Ekuveni inauguration event, the High Commissioner noted that a 20,000-capacity state-of-the-art cricket stadium is being built in Hulhumalé under the India line of credit and the neighboring nation will also provide another line of credit of USD 40 million for overall development of sports infrastructure.
Under India’s grant scheme equipment for setting up outdoor gyms at 61 islands and 67 children’s parks spread across the atolls have also been provided. Over the next two months India looks forward to the inauguration of development projects across other atolls as well.
The Ekuveni project forms a part of a larger set of 30 high impact community development projects being implemented across Maldives. With a total financial outlay of about MVR 200 million which is about USD 30 million, the completed projects include convention center ukulhas, installing street light in Kolhufushi, redevelopment of the Police Academy in Vaanee, providing vehicles and equipment to Malé City Council and the Goidhoo-Fehendhoo school ferry.”Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives
Highlighting that these community projects are distributed across the nation from Hoarafushi in the north to southernmost Addu City, the High Commissioner stated that this aligns perfectly with the high importance given by the government, to decentralization of the archipelago nation.
Describing the relationship between Maldives and India to be “historical”, “comprehensive” and “very unique”, Sudhir stated that India has not only supported the priorities of Maldivian government but has always been the first responder in times of crisis.
As such, he highlighted that the high impact community development projects undertaken through the Indian grant assistance constitute an important dimension of the dynamic development partnership between two countries.
They involve high levels of community participation and creating impact in the areas of likelihood and income general, health, educations, gender, sports, sustainable development. This partnership is further distinguished by its transparent and participative nature and in inherit flexibility that perfectly complements the requirements of local community and the thirst of the govt on decentralization.”Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives
In conclusion, the High Commissioner expressed special appreciation for Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and his “very competent” team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in making the development cooperation program, a success.