Saudi Fund inks development loan agreements with Maldives

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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SFD signs 2 development deals
Officials during the signing ceremony | SPA

Saudi Fund for Development’s (SFD) Chief Executive Officer Sultan bin Abdulrahman Al-Marshad has signed two development loan agreements with Maldives Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq.

The agreements aim to contribute to financing two projects in the Maldives: the Velana International Airport development project, with a value of $100 million, and the health sector development project, with a value of $50 million.

The SFD chief also participated in the partial opening of the Hulhmale Island development project, which the fund is contributing to financing through a development soft loan worth $80 million. Saudi Ambassador to the Maldives Matrek bin Abdullah Al-Ajalin was present at the signing.

The Velana International Airport development project includes the construction of an airline lounge building for international and domestic flights, a sea lounge, and an increase in the airport’s capacity to accommodate 7 million passengers annually.

The goal is to facilitate passenger movement, improve air cargo services and commercial activities, and create expansion capabilities to reach 15 million passengers annually, ultimately enhancing commercial growth and economic prosperity in the Maldives. The loan adds to five previous loans provided by the fund since 1978, totaling approximately $225 million.

The second agreement aims to finance a health sector development project to improve healthcare standards in the Maldives. The project involves the establishment of three hospitals on three islands with a total clinical capacity of 150 beds. It is expected to enhance health services for the Maldives’ residents, limit the spread of diseases and epidemics, and facilitate access to treatment.

The Hulhmale Island development project includes the construction of a sea canal for boat transportation, the building of four bridges, and the construction of two ports along with beach protection works. The project is anticipated to create 160,000 job opportunities on the island, contributing to social and economic development and supporting vital opportunities for development, knowledge, and capacity building.

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