Maldivian Red Crescent launches migrant relief fund

Maldivian Red Crescent launches migrant relief fund

Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC), on Sunday, announced the launch of a migrants relief fund to alleviate difficulties faced by expatriates in the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference held by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), MRC President Ali Nashid stated that members of the public would be able to contribute to the fund until the end of May via the donate button on their website or by transerring payments to the listed bank accounts.

MRC Secretary-General Fathimath Himya stated that MRC would regularly declare information concerning the total amount collected as well as details on how the money is spent. She noted that MRC would only assume responsibilty for funds sent to their accounts.

The Secretary-General urged the public to exercise caution regarding any possible scams designed to steal money under the guise of MRC's fund.

Furthermore, Nashid reiterated MRC's concern over the condition of expatriates' accomodation in the capital city of Male', describing some residences as 'unfit for human habitation'.

He highlighted the neccesity of ensuring adequate housing for all in the aftermath of the pandemic and called on citizens to support vulnerable individuals.

"A society's safety can only be ensured by guaranteeing protection for its most vulnerable members".

The COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Their often small-spaced living conditions have been described by local and international civil society organizations as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".

Following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15, Malé has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. The city is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Maldives now records 527 confirmed and 508 active cases of COVID-19, 18 recoveries and one death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3.5 million people and claimed over 246,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 1.1 million people have recovered.