The World Bank has approved an income support project worth 12.8 million United States dollars for workers in the Maldives who have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported on Thursday.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in a press release said the COVID-19 Emergency Income Support Project will strengthen the Maldives government’s income support allowance scheme for workers who have lost their jobs, on no-pay leave, or those whose wages were reduced to below 323 United States dollars per month.
“The drastic fall in tourism revenues and the constraints necessitated by the COVID-19 containment efforts have dealt a severe blow to low-income households who have lost their jobs or their source of income,” World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough said.
The funds include a 6.4-million-United States dollar grant and a 6.4-million-United States dollar credit line from the International Development Association (IDA). The Ministry of Economic Development will be implementing the project with assistance from the National Social Protection Authority and the Maldives Pension Administration Office.
According to the World Bank’s South Asia Economic Focus, the Maldives may see a GDP contraction of 8.5 to 13 percent in 2020 due to shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic.