Staff reporter


UNDP Bhutan and the Loden Foundation have come up with a different strategy to support the government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 Called the Loden-UNDP Bhutan Covid-19 Response Fund, the special funding window calls for innovative business proposals from Bhutanese individuals and groups.

According to a joint press release, the business proposal should be on how to directly address challenges and problems in the country, as a result of Covid-19 pandemic. Individuals or groups, after selection, could avail interest and collateral free loan support of up to Nu 1.5 Million per project.

“We need to pay attention to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on vulnerable individuals,” Resident Representative to UNDP Bhutan, Azusa Kubota said. 

“That is why we are working with Loden to help mitigate the social and economic consequences and social crisis of the pandemic.”

The press release also stated that this will not only let young people make concrete contributions, but also support Bhutan’s collective efforts to build resilience in the society and economy.

 “At a time of crisis, we all feel helpless. One of the most effective ways to gain a sense of empowerment is to be part of the solution,” Azusa Kubota said.

The applicants are expected to explain how to address the problems and challenges imposed on Bhutan through agricultural production, job creation, or tackling emerging needs using innovation, technology and nature-based solutions.

Startups and existing businesses that have potential for upscaling can also apply. A select panel of judges will also review proposals every Friday until the call for proposal is withdrawn.

The application process will be done online and on the phone in support of calls for physical distancing to combat the spread of Covid-19.