Staff Reporter 

The United Nations agencies in Bhutan have committed USD 1.17 million (M) to support the government in addressing issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UN Resident Coordinator, Gerald Daly, extended the support during his meeting with Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji on June 15.

According to a press release from the ministry, the commitment comes from the Secretary General’s UN Covid-19 response and recovery fund, that aims to support responses to the pandemic and the joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) fund, which will fund activities to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs.

The Resident Coordinator said the funds would not only protect people from the spread of the virus but would also help to prevent harm to the most vulnerable over the long-term and ensure the country can “Build Back Better”.

The programme financed by the Secretary General’s UN Covid-19 response and recovery fund supports the continuity of education and those whose livelihoods in the tourism and agriculture sectors are at risk.

The joint SDG fund would support the government to create strategies to increase and make effective use of investments to manage the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, respond to climate change threats, and advance Bhutan’s ambitious sustainable development agenda.

According to the press release, the donor countries for the response and recovery fund are Switzerland, The Netherlands, Norway and Denmark who has also contributed to the joint SDG fund.

Thanking the UN in Bhutan, Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji said that during times like these the role of the UN becomes more apparent and much needed. “Only through the spirit of global partnership and cooperation, which defines the United Nations, will the world be able to overcome the challenges of Covid-19,” he said.

Gerald Daly said it is more critical today than ever that all UN agencies work together to strengthen the support to those that are most vulnerable.

“We are fortunate to have strong partnerships in Bhutan – the government, various constitutional institutions, Royal University of Bhutan, the private sector, CSOs, the media and our regular development partners,” he said.

“Working together to ensure no one is left behind is at the heart of our work in Bhutan and we are grateful for these partnerships.”