The Government of Maldives on Monday launched a project financed by the Government of China that will provide half a million US dollars worth of aid to two remote islands in the Maldives that were devastated by last year’s tsunami.
The money will be used to rebuild and repair housing damaged on the islands of Dhaalu Vaanee and Dhaalu Meedhoo, both about 150 kilometres from the capital Malé. The islands suffered badly when last year’s December tsunami swept across the country, with 94 dwellings destroyed or seriously damaged between them. Much of the population of 1,500 on the two islands was displaced, and nearly eight months later, many are still living in temporary shelter.
“This is the first time that China, itself a developing country, has provided aid for tsunami recovery for the Maldives,” said Mr. Jianguo Shen, of UN HABITAT. The aid will implement the new shelter programme for the two islands. “Although China has pledged over US$ 20 million to tsunami relief across the region, it is unusual for the Chinese government to be implementing projects through the UN.”