This report covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2012
The resignation of President of the Republic of Maldives in early February 2012 resulted in considerable political upheaval and a deteriorating security situation, which lasted for several weeks. The turmoil throughout the country during February and March culminating in a day of considerable violence on 1 March when the new President was due to open the first Parliamentary session of the year. A number of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) delegates visited Maldives to meet with the authorities, visit detainees and develop MRC’s first aid capacity in violent situations.
In August, MRC’s emergency response team responded to an incident on Randheli Tourist Resort (currently under construction) for food poisoning of 80 people. The team along with volunteers and members delivered first aid service to those in need and helped with transporting the casualties.
MRC also responded to the severe weather that caused floods in 30 Maldivian islands in late October and early November. MRC’s focus areas for response included water and sanitation and health epidemic control.
Furthermore, MRC atoll branch and island unit in the southern area activated volunteers to help with the houses which experienced overflow from their household septic tanks, providing help to move household items to safe area, removing water from houses and also carrying sandbags to unaffected households to reduce the risk of further flooding.
Towards the third quarter, Maldives was somewhat politically stable, as the political parties moved towards the presidential primaries to elect their candidates for the presidential election in 2013.
After a number of political demonstrations and discussions, the Maldivian government terminated the 25 year contract (signed in 2010) with India's GMR Infrastructure Limited to develop the Male’ International Airport. The facility was expropriated earlier in December and will remain under the control of Maldives Airport Company Ltd (MACL). It is not yet clear what steps will be taken to ensure financing for the completion of the work.
The Government also decided to comply with Parliament's unanimous decision to terminate the Border Control System (BCS) contract with the Malaysian company, Nexbis Limited. Parliament's Finance Committee which had reviewed the BCS project had found that the contract was not in the best interest of the Maldives, hence urged the government to terminate the agreement in December. The country’s Home Minister assures that the project will be opened for tender soon in order to ensure that the Maldives border remains protected.
The Maldivian Government is expected to face sizeable compensation claims for the cancellation of both these agreements. No budgetary provision has been made to cover such an eventuality.