The Maldives’ reserves fell 21 percent, from US$622.1 million in May to US$492.2 million in July, statistics released by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) have revealed. This is the sharpest decline in reserves over the past 12 months.

Usable reserves are barely enough to cover the import of basic goods for one month, according to data from the central bank’s June Economic Update.

The sharpest decline in gross reserves last year was US$552 million in October.

Reserves in May were down 34 percent when compared year-on-year — reserves stood at US$748 million in May last year.

The decline casts a stronger spotlight on the worsening financial situation even as the administration recently decided to put in place measures to reduce spending.

As the total reserves declined usable reserves at April stood at US$113.6 million — higher than reserves at the beginning of the year which had been at US$110 million.

According to the MMA database, short-term debt stood at US$419 million at the end of May translating to a US$73 million as usable reserves at the end of the month. Usable reserves stood at US$179 million in December of last year.

The Maldives requires in excess of US$70 million a month for the import of basic commodities such as fuel, staples, and medicines.