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