Speech by H.E. Takeuchi Midori Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives at the Virtual Project Board Meeting “Improvement of Infectious Waste Management in Southwest Asia”

October 26, 2022


Good morning.

At the outset, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to UNDP for convening this online workshop in close collaboration with other stakeholders and inviting me to deliver few words.

I would like to join our host in welcoming all of you to this platform. We are very grateful for your sincere commitments, contributions and efforts to kick start this new Regional Project – “Improvement of Infectious Waste Management in Southwest Asia’’.

The Maldives faces serious challenges of Health Care Waste Management due to its dispersed islands. The health care waste management, exacerbated by COVID-19, is a critical issue due to lack of infrastructure for management of these waste generated in health care facilities in municipal solid waste management sites.

This is why there is an urgent need for development of infrastructure and provision of funds for sound management of health care waste in the Maldives. Through this project, I expect that the healthcare waste management capacity of the Maldives’ islands will be enhanced and improved in close partnership with the Ministry of Health, development partners and community level health centres.

Japan has been actively contributing to Maldives in variety of fields including security, education, agriculture, governance, amongst others – but health and waste management issues must be one of the most prioritised areas.

For example, we have provided health equipment to improve the health services across the country and also donated AstraZeneca vaccine. We have extended the Emergency Support Loan to enable the Government of the Maldives to strengthen the capacity to respond to COVID-19 pandemic and revitalize its socio-economic activities. Also, we agreed to provide a sea ambulance that would be used during medical evacuations as well as in humanitarian and disaster relief operations. And in terms of waste management, we are currently discussing with our headquarters regarding a potential project to provide items such as plastic compressors and waste collection vehicles in islands across Maldives. I sincerely hope these previous and ongoing projects would synergize successful implementation of this new project.

UNDP in Maldives has been our integral partner. Our partnership has witnessed
substantial progress over the past years, and in this fiscal year, Japan is the largest
donor for the UNDP Maldives with many ongoing projects covering a variety of fields
such as health, environment, agriculture, human rights and governance. Our Embassy team enjoys working with the dynamic team in UNDP Maldives office.

Before concluding, I would like to reaffirm that Japan will continue to work closely
with the Government of Maldives and our international partners to ensure sustainable development and advance prosperity in this country.

Wishing all the best.

Thank you very much.