The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided more than 7.5 million Maldivian Rufiyaa (USD 500,000), to strengthen environmental resilience, pursue economic and democratic reforms, and build a robust civil society. This brings USAID’s total commitments in Maldives to more than 400 million Maldivian Rufiyaa (nearly USD 26 million). Since 2001, USAID has invested more than USD 27 million in Maldives to help protect marine life and ecosystems, meet energy needs, provide clean drinking water, strengthen institutional capacities of government bodies, and support relief and reconstruction efforts.
“I am honored to help further strengthen the ties between the American people and the Maldivian people at this important time,” said USAID’s new Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Gabriel Grau. “Our programs respond to the needs of the Maldivian people – for example identifying and scaling up innovative solutions to climate-related challenges, solutions to stop the flow of plastic pollution to the waters surrounding Maldives, and supporting the government to implement a decentralized system following amendments to the Maldives Decentralization Act and more,” he said.
Mr. Grau’s assignment as Mission Director corresponds to a growth in the U.S. government’s development assistance portfolio in Maldives, which already includes initiatives focusing on climate change, environment conservation, public financial management, social cohesion, and strengthened capacity of democratic institutions.
After assuming duties last month, Mr. Grau visited Maldives this week to meet with senior government officials, development partners, and USAID-supported project staff. He also awarded grants to two private sector firms to support climate smart interventions in the Maldives.
Mr. Grau is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with more than 20 years of development experience in some of the Agency’s largest programs around the world, including South, South East, and Central Asia; Middle East; Africa; Central America; and the Caribbean. He spent most of his career serving in economic growth; humanitarian, stabilization, and development policy; and program and project design capacities. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and International Business from New Mexico State University.