Neighbourhood First: India to set up Drug Detox Centre in the Maldives

By: |
November 25, 2020 5:37 PM

The contract has been awarded within two weeks of the signing of the MoU earlier this month when Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla had visited that country.

Besides the medical and food support a group of doctors had also gone in March to help the local doctors for dealing with the COVID-19.

The Drug Detoxification Centre in Hulhudhoo, Addu, the Maldives is being set up with the help of India. Tailored to meet the requirements of the local community, the project is funded through an MVR 8 million grant assistance from India. And is going to be steered and executed by the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure of that country.

This is in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and the Maldives’ ‘India First’ policy. The two countries have been working together to fight the global pandemic of COVID-19. Financial Express Online has reported earlier about the substantial and continued assistance to the island nation. Besides the medical and food support a group of doctors had also gone in March to help the local doctors for dealing with the COVID-19.

The contract has been awarded within two weeks of the signing of the MoU earlier this month when Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla had visited that country.

More about the project

At a ceremony held on November 24, the contract for setting up a ‘Drug detoxification Centre’ in Hulhudhoo, Addu City was awarded.

This proposed Drug Detox Centre in Hulhudhoo, Addu is expected to provide community rehabilitation, detoxification, and residential rehabilitation services.

And this, in turn, is going to help in the reduction of crimes which are associated with drug abuse.

This Centre is among the 30 small and medium High-Impact Community Development projects.

These are being carried out under total grant assistance of approx. MVR 200 million (USD 13 million) from India.

Why the Detox Centre?

The Maldivian authorities have been dealing with substance abuse within local island communities.

There has been an alarming rise in the number of children and adolescents who are using drugs. Though there are four drug rehabilitation centres, there is an urgent need to set up more due to the increase in the number of addicts. These centres are for rehabilitation and most importantly detoxification.

India is supporting a project that will provide rehabilitation services to drug addicts. This will also help in providing comfort to not only the families but also to the island communities.

India & Maldives Relations

As a major development partner of the Maldives, the focus of the assistance to that country has been two-fold: on big infrastructure projects which help the country’s economy.

Also, projects that benefit the local communities.

Several Indian grant projects have been completed successfully. These include the ‘Convention Centre in Ukulhas’ – the largest Convention Centre in the Maldives and is outside of Male’.

Installation of Streetlights in Kolhufushi; development of Vaani Police Centre.

Vehicles and machinery have been provided to the Male’ City council.

Goidhoo-Fehendhoo school ferry and equipment for setting up Outdoor gyms on 61 islands and 67 Children’s Parks spread across the Atolls.

Projects in the pipeline

According to officials, there are several projects that are expected to be completed soon.

These include: Wetland Park in Faresmathoda; synthetic track at Ekuveni in Male’; My Home Fiyavathi in Hulhumale’; Development of Central Park and Renovation of the Jetty in Hulhumale’; construction of classrooms in Lhohi and Kinolhas schools. Also, Rasdhoo Coastal protection project; Community Centre at Foakaidhoo; setting up 3 fish-processing plants and 5 eco-tourism zones in Addu City, a bottled-water plant in Hoarafushi.

Importance of Addu

India is partnering with the Addu City Council for setting up of 3 fish-processing plants and 5 eco-tourism zones under a total grant assistance of MVR 64 million (USD 4.2 million).

The National College for Police and Law Enforcement Studies (NCPLES) in Addu City – is in the final stages of its completion and India gave the largest grant assistance of approx. MVR 500 million (USD 33 million).

Under the $ 800 million credit line, India is helping in the completion of the Addu Roads and Reclamation project.

All the High impact community projects are selected by the Maldives government, through their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And these projects which India is doing have involvement of a high level of community participation.

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