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European Union supports Bhutan’s local communities with €7.3 million

News 16 June 2019 Brussels

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The €7.3 million top-up agreement for local communities in Bhutan will help to improve local service delivery like the provision of clean drinking water.

This announcement was made by Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica following his meeting with  the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr. Lotay Tshering in the margins of the European Development Days in Brussels.

Commissioner Mimica said, "Bhutan is a bright example of how to put sustainable development and the happiness of its citizens at the centre of its policies. Thanks to Bhutan's sustainable development path, it will soon graduate from a Least Developed Country status. On top of this, it is the world’s only carbon-negative country. The EU is proud to continue to support Bhutan’s green and sustainable development policies – not least with this additional €7.3 million to increase the capacity of local governments to deliver services for the benefit of citizens”.  

Bhutan is working on local government reforms and on improving local disaster resilience. The funding will lead to better local service delivery. Drinking water infrastructure, treatment plants and water supply schemes will all receive a boost. A new National Training Centre on Search and Rescue will also help build resilience.

Background information

The additional funding was announced and signed in the margins of the European Development Days, the leading forum on questions of development. The additional €7.3 million will increase the EU contribution to the sector reform programme “Capacity Building of the Local Government and Fiscal Decentralisation”.

Today’s agreement brings the total amount of assistance to Bhutan under EU development cooperation to over €49 million for the period 2014-2020. EU – Bhutan cooperation focuses on two priority areas:

  1. Local authorities and Civil Society and
  2. Sustainable agriculture & forestry.

The assistance is complemented by thematic and regional projects in the areas of trade, environment and climate change.

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