The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has endorsed a new 5-year country partnership strategy (CPS) for Maldives covering 2020–2024. A roadmap for ADB operations in Maldives, the CPS will support the country to take on a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive path for development, and emerge stronger from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under the CPS, ADB will help enhance public sector efficiency and fiscal sustainability by improving the quality and efficiency of public services and state-owned enterprises, as well as tax administration. The strategy will support economic competitiveness and diversification of the country’s economic base by supporting private sector development, enhancing human development in health and education sectors, and improving international trade environment. It will also support the improvement of the quality of life of island communities while ensuring environmental sustainability by investing in clean energy, solid waste management, preservation of marine environment, climate adaptation, and disaster risk management. ADB will continue gender mainstreaming in all its operations in Maldives.
“The new country partnership strategy reaffirms ADB’s strong commitment to help Maldives address its key development challenges, including relief and recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ADB Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Director for South Asia Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong. “ADB approved more than $50 million in support of the government’s COVID-19 response measures in June. This strategy will build on that assistance to help Maldives’ economy become more resilient to external shocks and pursue sustainable and inclusive growth, fiscal consolidation, and debt sustainability.”
Fiscal and debt sustainability concerns are key development challenges for Maldives, which undermine its ability to respond to external shocks. In addition, a weak business environment, a small market, and a dispersed population have limited employment opportunities and slowed the development of a diversified and resilient economy. Maldives is also vulnerable to threats posed by climate change. Environmental pollution affects the quality of island life, on which Maldives’ tourism success depends.
The CPS is anchored on the government’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP) 2019–2023. The SAP sets out a holistic strategy and programs for an inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed economy, articulating five priority areas: blue economy, caring state, dignified families, quality of island life, and good governance.
Under the CPS, ADB’s indicative sovereign investment program for 2020–2023 includes projects on COVID-19 response budget support, waste-to-energy, renewable and clean energy, gender support, public financial management, trade facilitation, and social sector development.
ADB will also support nonsovereign operations, deliver relevant knowledge products and services, and help strengthen capacities of executing and implementing agencies of the government.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.