The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has presented a comprehensive set of commitments aimed at empowering the youth, as a crucial facet of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s “Happy, Peaceful Maldives” manifesto.

President Solih, who is seeking re-election, earlier unveiled his five-part manifesto which encompasses the themes of contented living, a harmonious society, nurturing a new generation of youth, transforming the economy, and ensuring effective governance.

Within the scope of “nurturing a new generation of youth,” a total of 50 commitments have been outlined, with a specific emphasis on addressing housing and affordability concerns.

One of the central aspects is the introduction of affordable housing options tailored to youths’ needs, including studio spaces, co-living arrangements, and council housing. These initiatives are designed for budget-conscious young individuals and university students.

Additionally, the MDP pledges to offer housing loans to youth with interest rates not exceeding six percent, as part of these policies.

Among other pledges outlined in these policies is the establishment of distinct ministries for youth and sports – a historic first for the nation. Currently, both domains are under the mandate of the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, but the plan is to create separate entities for these areas.

The policies also underscore the necessity of adequately addressing mental health challenges faced by young people. The MDP proposes to incorporate mental health treatments into the primary healthcare system and establish universal access to mental health consultations.

The manifesto also envisions the transformation of social centres across the country into community empowerment hubs, and the establishment of indoor sports complexes on every island.

Sports development is another key focal point within the youth empowerment policies. Pledges include the expansion of water and beach sports, the introduction of a national futsal competition, and the construction of a futsal arena.

The MDP states that the purpose of these commitments is to cultivate an empowered new generation of young individuals. Accordingly, the policies also encompass the creation of business hubs on the islands and the facilitation of micro-financing schemes for budding entrepreneurs.

During the policy launch, President Solih challenged his opponents to present a manifesto that could rival the MDP’s comprehensive approach. He affirmed, “I can guarantee that none of the other candidates can match our policies.” He further remarked that policies proposed by other candidates appear to change from morning to evening and undergo a complete overhaul by night.

President Solih highlighted the distinctiveness of MDP’s policies, emphasising that they were developed through thorough community engagement and addressed the foremost concerns of citizens.

The second part of the MDP manifesto was introduced on Sunday during a campaign event on Velidhoo Island in Noonu Atoll. President Solih made assurances to the community and expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of Noonu Atoll.