Statement by H.E Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Just about a month ago, we received timely and necessary supply of epidemic prevention materials donated by the Government of China. Today, once again, we receive generous donations from China at a time very different from the previous – as the community spread of COVID-19 is growing fast, not just in Malé, but in various parts of the country, and is threatening to ravage lives and livelihoods.

Maldives is immensely privileged to have the support and generosity of friends, such as the Government and the people of China. President Xi, and State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi understand the needs of the Maldives in overcoming both the humanitarian and the economic challenges of COVID-19. I wish to thank them profoundly for their support to the Maldives in this difficult time. I also wish to thank Ambassador Zhang Lizhong, for the support and friendship with the people of the Maldives. I am grateful to the Ambassador and his staff at the Embassy for working extremely hard to charter the flight for transporting the equipment and materials to the Maldives today. I am humbled by the simple gestures of friendship offered by the Chinese community living here in the Maldives during this challenging time.

The donations we received today are from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Chinese Companies and well-wishers, which include Alibaba Foundation/ Jack Ma Foundation, China Merchants Port Group Co.Ltd, China Machinery Engineering Corporation, Beijing Urban Construction Investment & Development Co. Ltd, Dongfang Electric International Corporation, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, China Communications 2nd Navigational Bureau 2nd Engineering Co. Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co.Ltd. And the donations of materials include; disposable protective masks, N95 protective masks, KN95 protective masks, infrared thermometers, goggles, medical protective suits, care beds, testing kits, ventilators, sampling sticks, and detection reagent extractant.

The Chinese companies in the Maldives have indeed shown significant support to the Government’s efforts in responding to COVID-19. The China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), for example, donated 5000 pieces of children’s masks last month and worked with the Chinese Embassy in arranging today’s charter flight.

The Government and the people of China have always extended solidarity and extraordinary support to the Maldives in overcoming unprecedented challenges. Today, we are extremely grateful that China is with us, as we ride through the storm. The ride is tough, but we are hopeful that we will be able to adjust our sails and reach the shores safe.

We remain steadfast in our resolve to contain, control, and eventually make the Maldives free of COVID-19. By the grace of Allah, we can do that because the people in this country, both Maldivians and non-Maldivians, are showing an extraordinary level of resilience in overcoming the challenge.

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