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More progress in the Maldives
OPEC Fund becomes largest international donor in water and sanitation sector
As published in the 02/2020 issue of the OPEC Fund Quarterly.
During the past decade, the OPEC Fund has been active in providing finance to the water supply and sanitation sector in the Maldives, and is now the largest international donor in the sector. More than US$106 million in development funding – including US$32.5 million of the organization’s latest loan - is supporting water and sanitation projects in the country.
The new loan is for a total of US$50 million and was signed by the OPEC Fund’s Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa and Maldives’ Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer in January in Malé. The finance will support the Outer Islands Harbors, Water Supply and Sewerage Facilities Project.
The government of the Maldives is co-financing the project, which costs a total of US$62.25 million, and planned works include building water supply networks and sewerage systems, as well as improving harbor infrastructure that will boost tourism and other economic opportunities. Around 20,000 people on 13 outer islands are expected to benefit. The harbor works will rehabilitate and upgrade priority infrastructure, better serving outer islands that have been economically marginalized despite their substantial potential for economic and social development.
Speaking at the loan signing ceremony, Dr Alkhalifa said: “Our presence here today is evidence of the importance that the OPEC Fund attaches to its cooperation with the government of the Maldives, which continues to flourish. This project builds upon our long-established framework of cooperation, which dates back to 1977. During this period, your government has embarked upon a remarkable economic journey, contributing to the prosperity of its people, and resulting in a strong transformation of this beautiful country. We are proud to be associated with this success.”
Ameer said: “I take this opportunity to thank the OPEC Fund for the continued support provided to us to build a resilient Maldives where we are able to pursue economic growth and continue our development initiatives to secure the future and wellbeing of our people. With partners like you by our side, we are ready to embark on a steady course for the future.”
Maldives’ Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer and OPEC Fund Director-General conclude the signing of a US$50m loan agreement for the the Outer Islands Harbors, Water Supply and Sewerage Facilities Project.
Photo: Ministry of Finance @MoFmv.
While in the South Asian country, Dr Alkhalifa met with the President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and discussed closer development collaboration. The OPEC Fund’s delegation also visited other development projects supported by the organization. These included the Velana International Airport Project – the largest infrastructure project in the Maldives, expected to accommodate 7.5 million passengers annually by 2025; and the Hithadhoo Regional Hospital Project, due to open soon, making it the only regional hospital in the south and the third largest in the country. The hospital will help improve the health of approximately 76,000 people.
The delegation also visited the Provision of Water Supply, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Project, which is expected to improve health standards and living conditions for more than 120,000 people on 49 islands. This builds on phase one of the project, also supported by the OPEC Fund, which improved living conditions for around 12,000 people on five islands.
To date, the OPEC Fund has approved 23 Public Sector loans to the Maldives totaling more than US$209 million. Supported projects include those in the transport, water and sanitation, agriculture, banking and financial services, telecommunications, health and education sectors. The Maldives has also benefited from the OPEC Fund’s Private Sector, Trade Finance and Grants financing.