Improving data accessibility and reliability, improving social services for the vulnerable groups, an inclusive governance, and climate change and disaster risk reduction are the four outcomes the United Nations Sustainable Development Programme  Framework (UNSDPF) targets for Bhutan over the next five years.

The UN aims to mobilise and invest an estimated USD 120.9 million (M) on these areas, an increase from USD 80M for the year 2014-2018.

The framework is aligned with the government’s target on narrowing the gap. The UN will support Bhutan for a just, harmonious and sustainable Bhutan where no one is left behind.

Resident coordinator of UNDP, Gerald Daly, said the vulnerable group was at the heart of the sustainable development goals, national key result areas, and GNH.

“When countries are able to support equality of different people, we know that those countries are more stable in the long term.”

The 14 socioeconomically vulnerable groups identified are children in conflict with the law, elderly in need of support, female workers working at Drayangs, persons practicing risky sexual behavior, persons using drugs and alcohol, persons with disabilities, orphans, out of school children, people living with HIV, single parents and their children, people who beg, vulnerable urban dwellers, unemployed youth, and victims of domestic violence.

The UN’s focus on vulnerable group is also to help Bhutan prepare for its graduation to a middle-income country from least developed country (LDC) status.

Of the four targeted outcomes from the UNSDPF for Bhutan 2019-2023, enhanced access to and use of reliable and timely data for inclusive and evidence-based policy and decision-making is one of the main outcomes for UNSDPF Bhutan.

A National Statistics Bureau (NSB)official said that a robust information system was necessary for the bureau.

The outcome is allocated USD 5.26M of the total fund, for which NSB is identified as the chair of the implementing agencies. USD 34.82M is allocated for improvement of social services for the vulnerable groups while USD 71.02M is for climate change and disaster risk reduction and USD 9.78M for good governance.

The framework was launched yesterday in Thimphu.

Phurpa Lhamo