Staff Reporter

UNDP Bhutan office signed an agreement with the Gross National Happiness Commission committing its Covid-19 response support to the government.

The response package that has three main components of support will include support to the health ministry, National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), and Civil Society Organisations working with vulnerable populations, according to the UNDP press release.

The first component of the support package is ICT equipment support, which will be focused on the roll-out of Covid-19 emergency IT solutions developed by the information and communications ministry. “This will help the ministry to obtain real-time data to effectively monitor and rapidly respond to the pandemic,” the press release stated.

The second component is the procurement of essential safety personal protective equipment (PPE) which is expected to supplement the health ministry’s efforts to equip frontline health workers as well as waste handlers especially those who collect wastes from quarantine facilities.

The third component will focus on Covid-19 risk community and advocacy will focus to disseminate crucial information targeted at hard-to-reach and vulnerable population groups.

“The support to NCWC and allied CSOs is also centred around strengthening their support services for women and children under difficult circumstances during such pandemic,” the press release stated.

The Commission in the press releases stated that such support would immensely contribute towards preparedness both in health and in protecting vulnerable.

The Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan, Azusa Kubota said that ICT during such crisis has given impetus to technological advancement and demonstrated the potential of technology in contact tracing and other areas.

“Real-time data is critical for targeted and rapid decision making. I commend the innovation, creativity and pro-activeness of the local innovators and the health ministry.”