World Bank approves aid of USD 7.3 million as COVID-19 support to Maldives

World Bank has approved a fast-track aid package of USD 7.3 million as COVID-19 support to Maldives.

World Bank stated the aid is aimed to support the efforts of Maldives to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 and strengthen the preparedness of the country for the pandemic. The bank also stated an additional USD 10 million has been made available to Maldives as contingency financing under Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO) signed with Maldives in 2019.

In a statement issued to announce the aid, World Bank stated the new fast track package of USD 7.3 million will help Maldives provide optimum care to patients, procure personal protective equipment and medical supplies, support hospitals to maintain essential services, strengthen intensive care and cope with a potential surge in demand. The bank stated the aid will also help to strengthen the capacity of laboratories in the capital Male' and the atolls to diagnose COVID-19, and train medical staff to manage COVID-19 cases.

Furthermore, World Bank stated the project will also support risk communication, community engagement and behavior change, focusing on Male', where transmission is more likely due to high population density. The bank also stated the additional USD 10 million will help to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the health crisis.

The World Bank Group is rolling out a USD 14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.