Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has today participated at the United Nations Development Assistant Fund’s high level meeting to discuss funds for the Maldives for 2011-2015.The meeting was held this morning at Dharubaarugé.

The UNDAF is the strategic programme framework for the United Nations Country Team. It describes the collective response of the UNCT to the priorities in the national development framework.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President highlighted the need to distribute income in a more equitable manner.

He also noted that during this early stage of democracy, the Maldives faced many challenges which need to be overcome.

Outlining those challenges, the Vice President said that “the fractured public administration” as well as socio-economic problems were major barriers for the country’s development.

Noting that a majority of the population were under 25 years of age, Dr Waheed said that their needs should be addressed. If those needs were not addressed, he said, social issues such as the drugs issue would not be resolved. He said, therefore, higher education, employment and training opportunities would need to be made available in the country.

Continuing in this regard he noted that the government has made some progress in drug prevention and said that the public itself was beginning to recognise this achievement.

Dr Waheed also thanked the UNCT for all the assistance and support towards the development of the Maldives.

Today’s meeting was attended by some Ministers and senior officials of the government.