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Maldives Population in Need Rises Amid Government Aid; US Invests in Gender Equity

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Bijay Laxmi
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Maldives Population in Need Rises Amid Government Aid; US Invests in Gender Equity

The Maldives National Bureau of Statistics has witnessed a significant increase in the population of the Maldives, reaching a total of 24,000 individuals in need of assistance across the capital Malé and the atolls of Gaafu Alifu and Meemu. This report reflects a 6.9% population growth within the country. Among those in need, the most affected are in the regions of Gaafu Alifu and Meemu, with 65 more individuals requiring help compared to the previous year, an increase of 9.6% and 9.4% respectively.

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Government's Response

The government has responded to this by providing financial assistance of 3,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa for vulnerable individuals, totaling up to 6,000 Rufiyaa for further support. Additionally, the aid campaign led by President Dr. Mohamed Waheed has emphasized the allocation of these funds to the most needy, with a particular focus on those who have not received prior assistance, ensuring an equitable distribution of aid.

US Investment in Gender Equity

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On another note, on December 4, 2023, Gender Day at COP28, the U.S. Government announced $1.4 billion in investments to the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, including $441 million in additional aligned USG commitments since the launch of WISE. WISE aims to improve women’s access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financing in green and blue industries.

Implications of Welfare Politics

In the lead-up to the Assembly elections in the five states, all major political parties have been engaged in a competitive game of welfare politics, promising voters freebies. However, experts warn that these handouts and payouts could have dire economic consequences due to the additional financial burden they place on the state treasury.

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