- 03 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, India supplied 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines to Maldives, under Operation Sanjeevani as assistance in the fight against COVID 19.
- The medicines were delivered by an Hercules C-130J-30 aircraft of Indian Air Force.
- The medicines include influenza vaccines, antiviral drugs such as lopinavir and ritonavir among others as well as consumables such as catheters, nebulisers, urine bags and infant feeding tubes.
- Lopinavir and ritonavir have been used to treat patients with COVID-19 in some countries.
- In March India also dispatched a 14-member Army medical team to Maldives to set up a viral testing lab there and gifted 5.5 tonne of essential medicines.
Previous India’s Assistance to Maldives
- 1988: Under Operation Cactus the Indian Armed Forces have helped the government of Maldives in the neutralization of the coup attempt.
- 2004: India has helped Maldives after the tsunami.
- 2014: Under 'Operation Neer' India supplied drinking water to Maldives to deal with the drinking water crisis.
- The two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) given by India to the Maldivian armed forces have been used in saving Maldivian lives.
- The Advanced Light Helicopter is a multi-role, new generation helicopter in the 5.5-ton weight class, indigenously designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Relations Between the Two Countries
- History: India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links. India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Male in 1972.
- Defence: India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements.
- ‘Ekuverin’ is a joint military exercise between India and Maldives.
- Disaster Management: The Government of India has provided large-scale assistance to Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and during the 2014 Male water crisis.
- Trade and Tourism: India is Maldives’ 4th largest trade partner after UAE, China and Singapore. In 2018, India was the 5th largest source of tourist arrivals in Maldives.
- The Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on its tourism sector, which is the major source of foreign exchange earnings and government revenue.