MALE, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) — The Maldives has received 520 million U.S. dollars in grants and concessional loans from countries and international institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported here Thursday.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer was quoted by the state-owned Public Service Media as saying that the government has been working with bilateral partners and international institutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy.
Speaking in the parliament, Ameer said that the government budget for 2021 will feature significant investment in the fisheries and agriculture sectors in order to reduce the island country’s dependence on tourism, while investment on social services such as healthcare will also be emphasized.
The minister said that projections for income received through grants have been revised from 1.94 billion U.S. dollars down to 908 million U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, debt is projected to rise to 778 million U.S. dollars.
Ameer said that basic public services will sustain despite a low revenue and that the country’s development projects will continue despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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