U.S. boosts aid for Maldives with $1.4 billion package
The U.N. Security Council approved a $1 billion package of relief for Maldivian fishermen Wednesday.
said the assistance will help the Maldives tackle the countrys first major economic crisis since independence from British colonial rule in 1959.
The U.K. voted to pull its ambassador from Maldives in March amid the nation’s economic crisis.
The country’s parliament has been debating the withdrawal of its ambassador in protest.
The United States is providing $1 million in humanitarian aid for fishing boats and the Maldivians will be able to return to the sea to hunt for food.
The money will help Maldives address its fishing issues, said Ambassador Michael Smith, a spokesman for U.A.E.A.-led United Nations Mission for the Maldive Islands.
“We are working closely with the Malda government to develop a long-term fishing strategy that focuses on sustainable development,” Smith said.
“This long-standing partnership will be key to achieving the country’s long-range fishing goals.”
is the largest contributor to the U.n. aid package, with $800 million of it coming in the form of loans, Smith said in a statement.
The other $600 million will be dedicated to fishing programs and assistance to fishing operators.
The package includes $300 million for fishing and fishing equipment projects and $100 million for projects related to the recovery of sea grass and fisheries, according to a statement from U.NAIDS.
U.U.S.-based fishermen are the backbone of the Maldifaiya fishing industry, Smith added.
He said the United States has donated a total of $500 million to Maldives fishing industry in recent years.
The Maldives are a British colony that was incorporated in 1957.
It was a British protectorate under British rule until 1997, when it was annexed by the Maldi government.
The Maldives have an economic size of only around 1 percent of the global total of 1.7 billion people.