India has provided financial assistance of $250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian embassy in Male said on Sunday.
The grant, provided under the most favourable terms possible, was in response to the request made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overcome the difficult economic situation in the Maldives.
A handover ceremony was held on Sunday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Maldives, to mark the occasion in the presence of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir and CEO, SBI, Male Bharat Mishra, the embassy said in a statement.
The financial assistance was announced first during a virtual meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and provided through a Treasury Bond sale to the State Bank of India (SBI), Male which has a tenure of 10 years for repayment, it said.
The India-Maldives partnership is unique and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this. India will continue to stand by the people and Government of Maldives during these difficult times, the embassy said.
The USD 250 million budgetary support showcases the resilience and reliability of the India-Maldives relationship. India''s Neighbourhood First policy and the Maldives' India First policy have worked in tandem during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the well-being of our peoples, it said.
"Today is another milestone in our historic ties that have expanded in scope and risen in ambition in the recent past," it said.
India had provided substantial and continued assistance to the Maldives during the COVID-19 pandemic.