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Maldives Govt Welcomes EU Approval of $50 million

Government Welcomes Council’s Approval of $50 million post-Tsunami Loan for the Maldives

Male

The Government of the Maldives is very grateful for Monday’s decision by the Council of the European Union to approve legislation paving the way for the Maldives to receive a $50 million loan to help the country’s post-Tsunami reconstruction efforts.

On February 27th the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) voted in favour of including the Maldives in the Asia-Latin America (ALA) list of countries that can benefit from the European Investment Bank’s Permanent Loan Facility. The decision taken by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the 25 EU Member States will allow the EIB and the Maldives to sign a framework agreement for the delivery of the $50 million loan, expected in early April.

The loan, designed to help the Maldives’ post-Tsunami recovery effort, will focus in particular on supporting the country’s badly-damaged tourism industry. Once disbursed, the EIB’s loan will provide long term funding to the tourist industry for reconstruction and development of the sector as well as for environmental protection and disaster prevention.

The Council’s vote complements the decision by the EU and other key members of the international community, announced in December of last year, to include ‘addressing the reconstruction funding gap facing the Maldives’ among their 2006 Tsunami priority considerations. The approval of this loan is an important step towards meeting the $150 million funding gap that has been identified.

Speaking after the vote, H.E. Hassan Sobir, Maldives Ambassador to the EU, said:

‘Monday’s vote is extremely good news and is yet anther example of the increasingly positive nature of EU-Maldives relations.

GAERC’s approval paves the way for a loan which will be indispensable in the reconstruction of the Maldives’ most important economic sector.

On behalf of my Government, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Permanent Representatives of the EU Member States for the timely manner in which they dealt with the dossier and passed it on to their Ministers for final approval.’

ENDS

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