ADB to pro­vide USD 35M grant for health and skill devel­op­ment

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

The Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank ( ADB) signed a USD 35M grant for health sec­tor devel­op­ment pro­gram and skills train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion path­ways up gra­da­tion pro­ject.

The grant agree­ments were signed be­tween the Fi­nance Min­is­ter and ADB’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of South Asia Depar­ment last Thurs­day.

The grant of USD 20M for Health Sec­tor Devel­op­ment Pro­gram ( HSDP) will help Bhutan im­mensely in im­prov­ing its eq­ui­table ac­cess, en­hanc­ing ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity of the health sys­tem. A sum of USD 10M un­der this grant will be al­lot­ted to the Bhutan Health Trust Fund to im­prove sus­tain­abil­ity of our free ba­sic health fa­cil­ity to the peo­ple. The Min­istry of Health will im­ple­ment the pro­ject over the pe­riod of five years from 2018 to 2018.

The grant of USD15M is for skills train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion path­ways upgra­da­tion pro­ject ( STEP- UP) will sup­port the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to­wards ex­pand­ing and up­grad­ing the tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing ( TVET) sys­tem for mod­ern, di­ver­si­fied and job- ori­ented skills devel­op­ment in the 12 Plan. It will help im­prove the em­ploy­a­bil­ity of TVET grad­u­ates and high school stu­dents of Bhutan. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Min­istry of La­bor and Hu­man Re­source will im­ple­ment the pro­ject over the pe­riod of seven year from 2018 to 2015.

“The ADB is ex­tremely pleased that through these grants we will be able to sup­port the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan’s ini­tia­tives to­wards in­vest­ment in so­cial sec­tor like health, ed­u­ca­tion, and tech­ni­cal skills devel­op­ment," it states.

"This aligns well with ADB’s cor­po­rate strat­egy, Strat­egy 2030, that pri­or­i­tizes hu­man devel­op­ment and so­cial in­clu­sion, im­prov­ing ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, achiev­ing bet­ter health for all un­der the first of seven pri­or­i­ties,” said Hun Kim, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, South Asia Depart­ment, ADB. Ac­knowl­edg­ing the chal­lenges faced by the cur­rent tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing ( TVET) sys­tem in the coun­try, Bhutan has de­vel­oped a TVET Blue­print 2016– 2026, as a roadmap for fur­ther­ing its “qual­ity” and “rel­e­vance”, while en­sur­ing “eq­uity” and “in­clu­sive­ness” in ac­cess. “The Skill Train­ing and Ed­u­ca­tion Path­ways Upgra­da­tion Pro­ject will as­sist the gov­ern­ment in en­hanc­ing the ca­pac­ity and rel­e­vance through reforming and mod­ern­iz­ing its TVET in­sti­tu­tions and in­ter­ven­tions ( led by both pub­lic and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions) to en­hance the em­ploy­a­bil­ity and em­ploy­ment prospects of the Youth in Bhutan and also help to re­alise the Bhutan vi­sion to be­come a leader in TVET in the re­gion,” said Ly­onpo Nam­gay Tsh­er­ing, Fi­nance Min­is­ter.

The gov­ern­ment rec­og­nizes good health of its cit­i­zens as a pre­req­ui­site for greater eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment, poverty re­duc­tion, and the road to Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness. Health ser­vices are pro­vided free as en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion of Bhutan, and the Gov­ern­ment pro­vides com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices to cit­i­zens through var­i­ous lev­els of care, in­clud­ing re­fer­ral of pa­tients abroad for life sav­ing treat­ments, which are beyond the clin­i­cal ca­pac­ity and fa­cil­i­ties avail­able in Bhutan.

“The Health Sec­tor Devel­op­ment Pro­gram is well aligned with the Na­tional Health Pol­icy’s mis­sion to achieve na­tional health goals and its as­pi­ra­tion to­wards self- reliance and sus­tain­abil­ity in Bhutan’s health ser­vice de­liv­ery,” Ly­onpo Nam­gay Tsh­er­ing added.

The HSDP will also ad­vance Bhutan’s health se­cu­rity agenda through strate­gic sup­port for pre­ven­tion and con­trol of in­fec­tious dis­eases in line with Bhutan’s com­mit­ment to the In­ter­na­tional Health Reg­u­la­tions.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ly­onpo Nam­gay Tsh­er­ing and Hun Kim ADB’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of South Asia Depart­ment af­ter sign­ing the agree­ments.

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