Project funded by the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi Partner Trust Fund – Call 2

While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is global, Maldives is suffering particular and unique impacts due to its high exposure of the economy to external shocks. Even prior to the COVID-19 crisis International Monetary Fund (IMF) categorized the Maldives to be at a high risk of external debt distress and a high overall risk of debt distress, with shocks to tourism earnings as the key risks. COVID-19 has done just that. A recent ADB report shows that the Maldives is amongst the top three countries in the Asia region to be hardest hit by the global crisis in terms of impact on the GDP. Furthermore, the World Bank’s latest report warns of a ‘perfect storm’ in South Asia with a gloomy forecast citing an unprecedented 40 year low and Maldives as the hardest hit.

This joint project will support the Government of Maldives to develop a shock responsive national Social Protection Policy that allows the implementing agency NSPA to take the required actions to assist vulnerable families in need during normal times as well as in crises. It will include creating a conducive environment through changing social norms that favour women to participate in economic activities and promote the change in the social systems.  A national assessment of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be conducted, to provide a comprehensive picture of the real impact on families due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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