Beijing, China—The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved a loan of USD7.3 million to the Maldives to strengthen the country’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is AIIB’s first project financing in the country.
Cofinanced with the World Bank, the project will immediately enable the government to scale up its efforts to provide protection to medical professionals through the provision of personal protective equipment and strengthen health systems through boosting testing capabilities. Beneficiaries include at-risk populations, particularly the elderly and people with underlying conditions, as well as public health agencies engaged in the response in the Maldives.
The socioeconomic impact on the island nation remains uncertain given its dependence on the international tourism market. Most tax and non-tax revenues originate directly or indirectly from tourism.
“Our first project financing in the Maldives comes at a critical time as the country navigates the impact of the global health crisis,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, D.J. Pandian. “AIIB is strongly committed to ensuring that the government has the necessary resources and capacity to protect the most vulnerable in the country.”
The project was approved under a new Special Fund Window (SFW) as part of AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF). This additional financing will allow the Maldives to buy down the interest rate to reduce the financial burden of the loan. AIIB’s SFW is only available to International Development Association members to help them raise affordable funds to fight the pandemic.
As of end-June 2020, AIIB has approved a total of 13 projects amounting to over USD5.5 billion to support 11 members to navigate the challenges of these highly uncertain times. Currently, AIIB is reviewing additional projects from its clients. Projects being proposed under the CRF can be found here.
Additional information about the Maldives COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project can be found here.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, we began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 102 approved members worldwide. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, we will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.