Afghanistan and Maldives on March 21 pledged to contribute USD 1.2 million to SAARC Corona Emergency Fund proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A spokesperson for the President of Afghanistan Sediq Sediqqi reportedly said that the Afghan government believed in joint collaboration and strengthening partnership to fight the rapidly spread coronavirus. Sediqqi in a tweet wrote that the Afghanistan government approved a one million USD contribution to the emergency fund.
The Afghan Government has just approved a contribution of One Million USD to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund as per the discussions in SAARC heads of nations VTC, believing in joint collaboration, and strengthening partnership to fight this pandemic. https://t.co/jK4zaYVha5— Sediq Sediqqi (@SediqSediqqi) March 21, 2020
Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid also took to Twitter to announce that the country will be joining the initiative to tackle the challenges posed by Coronavirus pandemic. Shahid wrote that the country will be contributing USD 200,000 to tackle the virus outbreak.
We welcome PM @narendramodi’s initiative to create an COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and its pledge of USD 10million. Government of Maldives joins the initiative and pledge USD 200,000 to address issues emanating from COVID-19.— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) March 20, 2020
Earlier this week, Bhutan and Nepal also pledged nearly USD one million and USD 100,000 respectively to the SAARC Corona Emergency Fund. Modi said that it was wonderful to see SAARC leaders taking initiatives that are adding strength to the collective fight against Coronavirus.
Modi, on March 15, addressed a SAARC video conference to share each other efforts and issues as the seven countries battle the pandemic. The video conference was led by PM Modi and was attended by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Maldives President Ibrahim Solih, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's assistant - Dr Zafar Mirza. PM Modi highlighted the SAARC's ancient ties and said that 'we must work and succeed together'.
Globally, around 11,800 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicentre being China. The virus has infected around 2,87,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and more than 100 other countries.