The Chinese government has pledged to provide the necessary resources for the construction of local council office buildings on 50 islands in the Maldives, according to Adam Shareef Umar, the Maldivian Minister of Cities, Local Government and Public Works.

Speaking at an event on Hanimaadhoo Island, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Umar revealed that President Mohamed Muizzu had informed him of China’s commitment. He expressed optimism that the construction of the council office buildings on the 50 islands could commence this year.

“With the latest information President [Muizzu] provided, by God’s will, the Chinese government will furnish all requisite resources for the construction of 50 local council offices,” Umar said.

The selection of the 50 local council offices to be developed as part of the initiative will be based on recommendations from the local councils. However, the specific islands that will receive the new council office buildings have yet to be determined.

Umar acknowledged the challenges facing local councils due to the state of their council offices and resources. The government is committed to addressing these issues, he assured.

President Muizzu earlier announced the decision to construct local council offices on 50 islands on 26 February. At the time, he disclosed that finances had not been earmarked in the state budget for these projects but suggested that the projects could commence under an investor finance model. The government aims to construct new island council offices on all islands, he added.

While the government has announced China’s commitment to provide the necessary resources for the construction of local council offices on 50 islands, it has yet to reveal the specifics of what these resources might be.