French Ambassador H.E. Mr Jean Paul Monchau Inaugurates Two Rehabilitated Ports in the Maldives

Two ports in the Maldives were ceremoniously inaugurated by H.E. Mr Jean-Paul Monchau, the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives on the 6th of August 2014, with the presence of the Mr Abdullah Ziad, Minister of State for Housing and Infrastructure of the Maldives and the Country Representative of the French Development Agency, Mr Grégory Villeneuve. The construction of the ports in Ra Ungoofaaru and N. Manadhoo islands is a project initiated after the Asian Tsunami in 2004. The French Development Agency (AFD) assisted with a concessionary loan of 15 million euros in a project for the rehabilitation and extension of the two ports and the construction of a sanitation system that is nearing completion shortly in two other islands in Thinadhoo and Laamu Gan.

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The newly opened ports are expected to add to the socio-economic development of the Maldives which depends mainly on the tourism industry. An island’s harbour is an essential economic link with the outside world. The ports of Ra Ungoofaaru and N. Manadhoo will improve accessibility for domestic transport of freight and passengers. Fishing communities will greatly benefit from the new ports as it provides a safe harbour for their boats and also better surveillance against storms to secure their main livelihood from adverse weather conditions. For school children the ports enhance connectivity with other islands where schools are located while accessibility to health care services for the needy will equally be improved.

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The French Development Agency (AFD) is a financing institution that has been providing development assistance over the past seventy years to over seventy countries. Development activities of AFD in Sri Lanka and the Maldives commenced in early 2005, following the Asian Tsunami. A total of 18.5 M Euros was engaged in post-Tsunami activities in the Maldives. A credit facility of 3.5 M Euros was provided to Bank of Maldives to revive the fishing and crafting sector which allowed financing of micro businesses.

Online 28/05/2015

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