Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof says the Indian government has approved the USD 250 million soft long-term loans as requested by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

In a tweet, the Youth Minister thanked the Indian government for the approval and said that the loan would be realized soon.

Mahloof also noted that this was great support from the Indian government at this difficult time as the Maldives struggled to cope with its ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also said that the Indian government would provide the Sovereign Guarantee of the loan to the State Bank of India SBI.

Although the Youth Minister had announced the approval of the USD 250 loan from India, the Finance Minister nor the Foreign Minister is yet to make an announcement in this regard.

The two countries made the announcement of the loan deal in a digital conference call between the foreign Ministers of the two countries in which India had agreed to the USD 250 loan as budget support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

India had provided timely assistance on several occasions during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis including flying out the Maldivians stranded in the epicenter of the pandemic, Wuhan, China.

Indian authorities have also coordinated with local officials to repatriate Maldivians stranded in India and had ensured that there is a constant flow of medicine and essential food items to the Maldives during the pandemic.