Bangladesh Navy ship sets sail with food, medicines for Maldives

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan | Published: 01:00, Apr 16,2020


A Bangladesh Navy ship left the Chittagong Port Wednesday afternoon on way to the Maldives with over 100 tonnes of food, medicines and medical assistance from the government of Bangladesh for the government of the Republic of Maldives, according to foreign ministry.

More than 60,000 undocumented Bangladeshi nationals were languishing in severe food shortage in the Maldives due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, officials in Dhaka told New Age.

As per the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the Bangladesh High Commission in Male coordinated the shipment of food, medical equipment and assistance for the Maldives, said foreign minister press release.

It said that the MoFA  was in touch with the Maldivian foreign ministry  and reiterated Bangladesh’s solidarity with the Maldives in facing the threat of COVID-19 together.

‘Bangladesh Navy, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Directorate General of Drug Administration, relevant District Administration, and other concerned authorities of the Government as well as some Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies have worked together to gather the assistance materials for Maldives over  a very short time in the backdrop of a challenging phase that Bangladesh itself is passing through.’

Bangladesh has also pledged $ 1.5 million to the COVID-19 Regional Fund proposed by India during the SAARC Leaders’ video conference held on 15 March 2020.

Over 60,000 Bangladeshi workers became undocumented in the Maldives for years, a team of the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry and the Bangladesh Overseas Employment Service Limited said on return from Male early last year.

About 1.50 lakh Bangladeshis work in the Maldives including the undocumented ones, the BOESL officials said.  

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