World Bank grants Maldives USD 10 million to leverage digital technologies for climate resilience

Minister Shauna during video call with World Bank Country Director to Maldives, Nepal & Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos | Photo: Twitter

United States – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Thursday approved a USD 10 million grant to support the Maldives in using digital technologies for development and climate resilience.

The Digital Maldives for Adaptation, Decentralization and Diversification Project will support the government in strengthening the legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks,

  • to promote competition in the broadband market by enabling more affordable broadband-enabled services with more secure and privacy-conscious identification mechanisms;
  • improve digital identification and security for in-person and online services by digitizing national identity cards;
  • leverage digital technologies, data, and analytics to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change with a state-of-the-art climate data platform.

This project will enable more affordable broadband-enabled services with more secure and privacy-conscious identification mechanisms.

Jerome Bezzina, co-task team leader, World Bank

“It will also improve data and analytics by tracking emissions, deploying modern technologies such as drones and re-using data more efficiently to enable government and businesses to make more informed decisions in managing natural resources and protecting critical resources, such as coral reefs,” said Jerome Bezzina, co-task team leader for the project.

The Maldives Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, in partnership with the Communication Authority of Maldives, National Centre for Information Technology, and Department of National Registration will implement the project.

Internet access and use in Maldives has expanded over the past decade, but challenges remain in terms of the affordability and quality of Internet services, particularly in the outer atolls. Gaps in the enabling legislative environment, as well as in digital infrastructure and platforms, make it harder for Maldivians to get online and access a wide range of public- and private-sector services in a secure manner.

The need for decentralization and digital transformation is made more pressing by the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise and coastal erosion. These are having an impact on tourism and fisheries which are the mainstays of the island nation’s economy and people’s livelihoods.