The below is attributable to Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:
During her visit to Maldives from November 16 to 18 as the head of the U.S. presidential delegation to the country’s presidential inauguration, Administrator Samantha Power affirmed the U.S. commitment to the people of Maldives and pledged to deepen the partnership between the United States and Maldives to strengthen democracy and transparency, drive sustainable and equitable prosperity, and help the Maldives protect its sovereignty and natural environment.
During her visit, Administrator Power signed a new memorandum of understanding with Marriott Maldives Business Council, affiliate of Marriott International Inc., to bring local islands and private resorts together to identify concrete ways to work with one another. Administrator Power heard from resort managers and local islanders about the opportunities for collaboration on job creation, arts and culture tours, and environmental management. These partnerships will help more island communities reap the benefits of decentralization and tourism-driven economic growth.
Administrator Power also visited Goidhoo Island in Maldives where she met with the island council and women’s development committee to hear about their efforts to protect the environment and expand economic activity, including eco-tourism. USAID works with local councils and women’s development committees across the country to strengthen transparent and accountable local governance.
The Administrator toured Maldives Meteorological Service to learn how U.S. support will strengthen Maldives’ capacity to integrate climate impacts in weather forecasting. Access to accurate weather and climate information is a critical component to understand, prepare for, and respond to climate change-related weather hazards. Through a $450,000 grant, USAID is helping provide computers, software, and training to enable detailed forecasts and warnings that allow time for informed, life-saving action ahead of extreme weather events . Through USAID’s support to Maldives Meteorological Service, families in local communities will be able to see specific areas expected to flood due to heavy rain, enabling them to take measures to prepare. This is the difference that impact-based forecasting makes in Maldivians’ lives.
During her visit, Administrator Power also met Maldivians to discuss progress as well as challenges for Maldivian democracy, rule of law, and civic space. They discussed ways in which the knowledge and technical expertise of local organizations can help advance important national objectives.
Administrator Power also sat down with Raajje TV, one of Maldives’ prominent private broadcasting networks, to highlight USAID’s commitment to the people of Maldives. Wrapping up her visit, the first of a USAID Administrator to the country, the Administrator announced USAID’s commitment to expand its presence in Maldives with the opening of a permanent country office within the U.S. Embassy in Male.