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Towards a climate resilient future in the water sector: Government of Maldives signs project document with UNDP

© UNDP Maldives
Project will deliver safe and secure freshwater to 105,000 people in the islands of Maldives in the face of climate change-induced water shortages
Malé, 7 May 2017 – The Government of Maldives, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have this week formalized a project to support vulnerable Maldivian communities to manage climate change-induced water shortages. The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with co-financing from the Government of Maldives and contribution from UNDP.

“Supporting vulnerable communities in Maldives to manage climate change-induced water shortages”, will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The five-year project targets 49 islands across 13 atolls of the country that continue to experience water shortages linked to low rainfall and extended dry periods brought on by a changing climate. 

The project aims to bring a paradigm shift towards climate change-resilient and cost-effective water supply and management in Maldives. To this end, it will establish water production facilities in 4 islands across the most vulnerable regions in the North. These islands would then serve as water production and distribution hubs for all seven Northern atolls during the dry season, lifting their dependency on emergency drinking water supplied from elsewhere. The remaining 45 islands in both the North and South of Maldives will benefit from improved rainwater collection infrastructure combined with ground water quality improvements, for long-term resilience.

It is expected that the project will enable approximately 105,000 people to have uninterrupted and year-round access to safe and secure water in the face of climate change. A reserve of clean water for the dry period will also be secured, reducing the exposure to health risks from untreated water.

The Government actively invests in the water sector, covering proper sewerage systems, water harvesting and reverse osmosis plants. The GCF investment is a critical contribution towards the water production and distribution systems that experiences major funding shortfalls. This project will therefore directly contribute to an increased resilience of water security. It will also support the Maldives in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, Clean Water and Sanitation.

UNDP was one of the first entities accredited to the GCF, becoming a key partner of the Fund, and is working together with partner countries around the world to deliver low-emission and climate-resilient development.

“Maldives was among the first countries to access the Green Climate Fund and it was a remarkable achievement to the government to be among the first countries to secure this project. I have high hopes that this project will address the water issues in the 49 islands. We will be working with our partners to access the GCF resources to find a solution to the climate induced problem in the environment sector and beyond”, said Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy.

“For over 20 years, Maldives has been at the forefront of global efforts to raise awareness about climate change. As a trusted development partner of the country, UNDP continues our close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy on this front with the GCF initiative. We will work closely with communities and ensure that people shape their own development,” said Shoko Noda, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives. 

The project will be implemented in partnership and close coordination with other relevant programmes and investments in the water sector carried out under the Ministry of Environment and Energy. It will be undertaken with the engagement of civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders. The project will also systematically seek new opportunities for innovative partnerships with Government, communities and private sector organizations, in accordance with plans to upscale and sustain the results on the ground.

Ministry of Environment and Energy is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Government policies, strategies, regulations and standards for provision of water and sanitation services in the islands of the Republic of Maldives. The Ministry is also responsible for the development of the programmes and projects related to water and sanitation sector and acquire funds to the projects through collaboration with the related institutions; plan and manage all aspects of those projects, develop monitoring guidelines and regulate projects related to water and sanitation while implementing plans to manage and oversee all the components of projects for the sustainable development of the sector.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Green Climate Fund was established by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and given the mandate to fund climate action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and support climate-resilient development.


UNDP Maldives: Aminath Ibrahim, Communications Officer | Email: | Tel: +960 3343 277

Ministry of Environment and Energy: Wilshaana Moosa | Environment Analyst | Email: | Tel: +960 3018386
UNDP Maldives: Ahmed Shifaz | Assistant Resident Representative, Resilience and Climate Change Portfolio | Email: | Tel: +960 3343 264