BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) — The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said Wednesday that its board of directors had approved a 7.3-million-U.S.-dollar loan to the Maldives to strengthen the country’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-financed by the World Bank, the project will enable the government to provide more personal protective equipment to medical professionals and strengthen health systems through stepped-up testing capabilities, the AIIB said.
This is AIIB’s first project financing in the Maldives. “AIIB is strongly committed to ensuring that the government has the necessary resources and capacity to protect the most vulnerable in the country,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, D.J. Pandian.
The socio-economic impact on the archipelago nation remains uncertain given its dependence on the international tourism market, with most of the country’s tax and non-tax revenues originating directly or indirectly from tourism, according to the bank.
The project was approved under a new Special Fund Window (SFW) as part of AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility. AIIB’s SFW is only available to International Development Association members to help them raise affordable funds to fight the pandemic.
As of the end of June, AIIB approved a total of 13 projects amounting to over 5.5 billion U.S. dollars to help 11 members cope with the impact of the global health crisis.
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