Disclosures show the state spends over MVR 3.2 million (US$ 208,353.22) annually on salaries and perks for Haula Ahmed Didi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations Offices at Geneva.
Haula is sister to Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi.
Dhiyares had petitioned the Information Commissioner’s Office of the Maldives (iCOM) for disclosure of her pay package status under the right to information statutes.
Looking at the information released, she is one the highest paid diplomats in the current administration. As such, in a year, the state spends over MVR 3.2 million (US$ 208,353.22).
- Breakdown of pay package:
- 1- Basic salary: MVR 216,000 (US$ 14,063.84)
- 2- Ramadan allowance: MVR 3,000 (US$ 195.33)
- 3- Special allowance to the post: MVR 198,178 (US$ 12,903.44)
- 4- Commuting allowance: MVR 162,095 (US$ 10,554.07)
- 5- Dependents allowance: MVR 2,249,593 (US$ 146,471.86)
- 6- Others: MVR 445,576 (US$ 29,011.62)
- Total: MVR 3,274,442 (US$ 213,200.16)
The most striking allowance is given as dependent’s allowance. The annual spend of MVR 2,249,593 (US$ 146,471.86) on this category averages to MVR 187,466 (US$ 12,205.98).
It is unclear how and why Haula is given such a massive amount as a dependent’s allowance.
Under the guidelines shared with Dhiyares by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Deputy Permanent Representative stationed in Geneva is eligible for MVR 88,904 (US$ 5,788.57) per month. However, her earnings under this category significantly bypasses this amount.
Websites that show the cost for Geneva, Switzerland show that living costs for a four-person family would be around US$ 7,000. Her family, however, tops living costs with US$ 17,000.
While Haula serves as Deputy Permanent Representative in Geneva, she has no experience in foreign service. Her education was from the field of nutrition.
Heads and representatives of missions and embassies are currently filled with close associates and family members of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The pay packages given to these individuals far outstrip their qualifications and mandates, with several individuals reporting that some even had no mandate.