Good governance and renewal natural resources are the focus sectors of the European Union’s (EU) commitment of Euro 44 million for Bhutan’s new country strategy Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) from 2014 to 2020.
Support to Rural Development and Climate Change Response Programme of EUR 21.5 m and EUR 20 mn for support to Capacity Development for Local Government and Fiscal Decentralization in Bhutan has already been launched. The third phase of EUR 2.5 mn as support to Civil Society, is yet to be launched.
The European Union (EU) Bhutan Cooperation started in 1982 when the first agreement on Plant Protection Services was signed and since then, numerous activities have been undertaken in Bhutan.
GNHC officials said that areas of EU support are agriculture, livestock, forestry, human resource development, trade promotion and civil society organizations, which is based on EU Country Strategy and Bhutan’s development plans.
Bhutan is now with the new country strategy, Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2014 to 2020, which was endorsed on 22 October 2014.
“Building on past experience and to maximise impact and contribution to development outcomes, the EU and the GNHC, RGoB agreed to focus EU’s assistance for 2014-2020 on two sectors, which are good governance and renewable natural resources,” the official said.
Bhutan has received a total of Eur 72 mn in the past, of which Eur 4.5 mn was for sixth plan, Eur 19.2 mn for seventh plan, Eur 19.4 mn for eighth plan, Eur 15 mn for ninth plan and Eur 14 mn for the tenth plan.
In addition, very recently, the RNR sector successfully complemented the implementation of three full programmes called Agriculture Sector Support Program (ASSP) with EUR 5.25 mn, Support to Livestock Sector (SLS) with EUR 6.5 mn and RNR Support Programme with EUR 6.6 mn.
The GNHC official said that there are few ongoing projects with EU support. One is EU support to Bhutan under Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) with EUR 4.39 mn and EU Technical Cooperation Project in support of RNR Sector (EUTCP), worth of EUR 4.6 mn.
“With EU’s support we as a country are well on the way of achieving the objective of the 11th FYP, which is self-reliance and inclusive green social-economic development,” the official said. “Bhutan strongly values its relation with EU and EU is one of the major partner to Bhutan.”