The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:
Yesterday, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power spoke with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid about the existential threat posed to the Maldives by climate change and USAID’s support for an ambitious climate partnership that includes adaptation, safeguarding natural resources, protecting biodiversity, and strengthening environmental resilience in the country. Administrator Power and Foreign Minister Shahid discussed areas for important collaboration in advancing decentralization, anti-corruption, and support for the rule of law. Foreign Minister Shahid conveyed the gratitude of Maldivians to the American people for the critical emergency COVID-19 assistance and forthcoming vaccine donations provided by the U.S. government, and Administrator Power and Foreign Minister Shahid also agreed on the urgency of ensuring that as many Maldivians as possible have access to vaccines.
The two leaders also discussed opportunities to strengthen developmental cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, where Maldives is a leader in climate action, and educational opportunities for Maldivians. Administrator Power congratulated Foreign Minister Shahid on his election as President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and commended him for his commitment to gender diversity within the Maldives Foreign Ministry, where his leadership has helped ensure gender parity among the country’s Heads of Missions.