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The Pakistani government has donated MVR 5,958,781.44 (USD 386,432) to the Maldivian government to assist in its COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

A cheque symbolizing the grant was presented to Maldivian Foreign Minister Shahid by Pakistani High Commissioner Vice Admiral (Retired) Ather Mukhtar in a meeting held at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Male’ on Wednesday.

Pakistan made the donation through the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

The SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund was established in March 2020 during a virtual summit of the SAARC leaders, held in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative seeks to address the challenges and mitigate the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the South Asian region.

The fund is financed by voluntary contributions from all SAARC countries.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Minister Shahid thanked the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and the government and people of Pakistan for their generous financial donation, on behalf of Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the government and people of Maldives.

Shahid said the gesture demonstrates the special regard and consideration Pakistan accords to Maldives.

High Commissioner Mukhtar, meanwhile, took the opportunity to congratulate Shahid on his election as President of the 76th of the UN General Assembly.

He expressed confidence UNGA will play an active and positive role in managing current challenges and build a stable structure for peace and progress in the world under Shahid’s leadership.

Mukhtar also voiced appreciation for Maldivian government’s policies and measures in combatting COVID-19, and expressed hope the grant will help strengthen Maldives’ COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to supporting the people of Maldives in times of need and said that challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should be dealt with through joint efforts. 

Pakistan also recently extended a grant of MVR 2,972,205 to support a nationwide anti-domestic violence campaign run by Maldivian Gender Ministry.

Foreign Ministry, in a statement announcing the donation, said that Pakistan continues to be a key development partner to Maldives in multiple spheres, and that the latest donation marks yet another important milestone in the Maldives-Pakistan relations, and contributes towards further strengthening the close fraternal relations between the two countries.