Maldives: Responsive COVID-19 Vaccination for Recovery Project under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility

Sovereign Project | 55086-001

The project will provide Maldives with needed financing to sustain and upgrade its national coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program, within its overall expanded program of immunization (EPI), through the project investment component (PIC) modality of the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The PIC grant will support investments for the storage, distribution, delivery, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, along with related investments in capacity building, which will help ensure the success of the government's COVID-19 vaccine booster program.

Project Details

Project Name Responsive COVID-19 Vaccination for Recovery Project under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility
Project Number 55086-001
Country / Economy Maldives
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0848-MLD: Responsive COVID-19 Vaccination for Recovery Project Under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility
Asian Development Fund US$ 10.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Health / Disease control of communicable disease

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description

The project will provide Maldives with needed financing to sustain and upgrade its national coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program, within its overall expanded program of immunization (EPI), through the project investment component (PIC) modality of the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The PIC grant will support investments for the storage, distribution, delivery, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, along with related investments in capacity building, which will help ensure the success of the government's COVID-19 vaccine booster program.

The project is aligned with five of the operational priorities of ADB's Strategy 2030: (i) addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities; (ii) accelerating progress in gender equality; (iii) tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability; (iv) strengthening governance and institutional capacity; and (v) fostering regional cooperation and integration. It is consistent with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2020-2024 for Maldives, which prioritizes the strengthening of Maldives' health system.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Pandemic. The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Maldives was recorded on 7 March 2020 while the first local transmission was confirmed on 15 April 2020. Since then, the country has experienced several waves of COVID-19. The latest and the biggest wave thus far was attributable to the Omicron variant, and occurred from December 2021 to March 2022, increasing the recorded confirmed cases to 179,979, with 299 deaths as of 15 June 2022.

Costs to the economy. Maldives' real gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 33% in the first 9 months of 2020 and by 28% in 2020. Tourism contracted significantly immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic, with only around 555,000 tourists visiting Maldives in 2020, 67% lower than the 2019 record high of 1.7 million tourists. The construction and civil works activities also decreased drastically. This was mainly due to illness among workers and the breakdown in the supply chain and logistics systems. Maldives reopened borders to all travelers from all countries on 15 July 2020. In 2021, tourist arrivals rebounded strongly to 1.3 million, or 76% of the 2019 level, because increased vaccination rates both globally and domestically made it possible to ease travel restrictions. Although the tourism sector is reviving, it remains below pre-pandemic levels, and the risk that the recovery could be compromised due to the emergence of future new COVID-19 variants remains.

Impact on poor and vulnerable groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, and containment measures undertaken by the government to curtail it, considerably affected the economic and health status of the poorer and more vulnerable persons in Maldives. The pandemic had a major impact on the general population's ability to meet financial obligations. Around 90% of business owners, people working in tourism and food-related employment reported being extremely or very affected by the pandemic or having lost all their income, and with nearly 50% having lost employment. People with disabilities could not avail essential health services as home visit services were suspended. The populations in the outer atolls and islands were particularly affected due to the challenges of providing quality health care and other services in a geographically dispersed territory.

Impact on women. The Ministry of Economic Development estimated that around 12% of women in the workforce lost their jobs. The National Job Center data showed that unemployment and complete loss of income was higher for women than men. Additionally, women continue to be more vulnerable to the ongoing COVID-19 waves, as approximately 44% of women (compared to 36% of men) are in the informal sector with no job security. 32% of women are also likely to earn less than their partners and 21% of women even have no earnings at all. Unpaid care work has also increased for women since the onset of the pandemic, particularly for female single parents. Restrictions in mobility constrained women's access to essential health care services needs such as surgery, maternal care, and contraceptives and obstetrics care. Around 68% of women reported mental and emotional health deterioration as they faced economic strains and gender-based violence increased during the pandemic.

Impact on the health system. The direct impact of COVID-19 in Maldives has been substantial with more than 30% of the population requiring COVID-19 care during the period March 2020 to May 2022. As Maldives' health system is dispersed across many islands across a large sea area and with the high density of the population living in the Greater Male' area, the health system was stretched to meet the demands of increased testing for COVID-19 and in providing care to the affected. As approximately 50% of doctors and nurses are expatriate staff, the government was also faced with human resource constraints when managing the increased COVID-19 cases burden.

Impact

Resilience and responsiveness of health systems to COVID-19 enhanced, and uninterrupted supply of quality COVID-19-related vaccines ensured.

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

The deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines under the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) effectively managed

Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Capacity of vaccine storage and transport system increased

Information management of the Expanded Program on Immunization strengthened for COVID-19 vaccination and

routine immunization

Human resource capacity of the Expanded Program on Immunization enhanced.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Nation-wide
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Engagement of 15 Individual Consultants and Design and Supervision Consultancy for designing and supervision of the Central Cold Chain Facility with climate friendly designs
Procurement The procurement plan indicating review procedures, and goods, works, and consulting service contract packages is in Appendix 5. The procurement plan describes all expected procurement activities to be undertaken by the project. ADB will review documents and submissions related to procurement at all major milestones prior to proceeding with the procurement process.
Responsible ADB Officer Chen, Dai-Ling
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Finance (formerly Ministry of Finance and Treasury)
Timetable
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding 06 Jun 2022 to 09 Jun 2022
MRM 12 Jul 2022
Approval 14 Sep 2022
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 17 Nov 2022

Grant 0848-MLD

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
14 Sep 2022 27 Sep 2022 24 Oct 2022 30 Jun 2026 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 10.77 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 10.00 24 Jan 2023 0.27 0.00 3%
Counterpart 0.77 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 24 Jan 2023 0.00 0.00 0%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory - - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Human Resource Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 22 Jan 2023 29 Jan 2023
DESIGN AND SUPERVISION CONSULTANCY FOR DESIGNING AND SUPERVISION OF THE CENTRAL COLD CHAIN FACILITY WITH CLIMATE-FRIENDLY DESIGNS AT HULHUMALÉ Firm - Consulting Active 29 Dec 2022 15 Feb 2023
Human Resource Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 27 Dec 2022 05 Jan 2023

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found