UN Bhutan supported Sustainable Development with USD 35.57 Million in 2023

UN Bhutan supported Sustainable Development with USD 35.57 Million in 2023

In a substantial boost to its sustainable development initiatives, Bhutan received a total of USD 35.57 million (M) from the United Nations in 2023, effectively using USD 21.9M, or 62%, of these funds. The financial aid was primarily directed towards enhancing data management and governance to foster inclusive development across the nation.

A significant accomplishment this year was the establishment of the Bhutan Statistical Database System (BSDS), a comprehensive platform that supports evidence-based decision-making by providing streamlined access to various sector data. This initiative not only strengthens Bhutan’s disaster preparedness but also enhances emergency coordination and disaster management systems.

The UN’s contributions in Bhutan also focused on ensuring equitable access to quality social services for the most vulnerable groups. These efforts spanned multiple sectors including child protection, education, health, and nutrition.

Through its targeted programs, the UN has made strides in addressing the needs of these populations, significantly contributing to their wellbeing and social security.

Further enhancing its support, the UN leveraged the universal appeal of sports through initiatives like Football for the Goals, which uses football’s wide-reaching influence to promote positive social change and advance sustainable development.

Looking ahead to 2024, the UN is committed to continuing its support for Bhutan, particularly in aiding the country’s transition from its status as a Least Developed Country (LDC). Priorities for the upcoming year include advancing the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to bolster inclusivity, empowerment, and uphold human rights, alongside tailored assistance to manage the LDC graduation process effectively.

The UN’s efforts in Bhutan are guided by the principles of collaboration, innovation, and impact, striving to achieve shared development goals and priorities. This commitment aligns with the national development frameworks, including the 12th Five-Year Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (UNSDPF).

The UNSDPF, which outlines the shared vision of the UN system in Bhutan for 2019 to 2023, focuses on enhancing access to reliable data, improving quality social services for vulnerable populations, providing equitable opportunities, and boosting the resilience of Bhutan’s communities and economy against environmental and economic challenges.

As Bhutan progresses towards the Agenda 2030 goals and navigates its way out of the LDC category, the support from the UN is more crucial than ever. These collaborative efforts not only underscore the achievements made in sync with Bhutan’s development priorities but also set the stage for continued progress in the coming years.

By Sangay Rabten, Thimphu