WFP Shifts Focus To Capacity Development In Nutrition And Disaster Preparedness In Bhutan

Email

The decision was made after consultations with Bhutan's government, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

(Source: WFP Bhutan)

 

By Namkhai Norbu Business Bhutan

Contrary to popular speculation that the World Food Programme (WFP) would end its presence in Bhutan by the end of 2018, the international organisation will still be in the country till 2023.

The WFP will partner with Bhutan to graduate from the Least Developed Countries (LCD) status to the Lower Income Country (LIC) status. It has been decided that there should be a strong need for WFP support in the country.

According to the WFP, the decision was made after consultations with the government and following a careful review of the needs in the country, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Shift in focus of WFP in Bhutan

However, WFP will not continue with the provision of in-kind food assistance. It will no longer be operational in food distribution as part of the school feeding programme.

 

Source: Youtube/WFPHungerFeed

 

WFP will instead shift its focus to institutional strengthening and capacity development in nutrition and Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR).

Based on the Bhutan Country Strategic Plan (CSP: 2019 – 2013), WFP will be setting up the following:

  1. national rapid post-disaster needs assessment capacity,
  2. national rice fortification programme,
  3. transition of the National School Feeding Programme to a National School Nutrition Programme and
  4. strengthening the national capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters.

As part of the new role, the WFP has taken the lead for the UN in DPR and will support the Bhutanese government in coordination, data preparedness, logistics, emergency telecommunications and food security.

The agency, with the government has also developed a Road Map for Disaster Risk Management for Bhutan to guide coordination, actions and investments of both development partners and government partners.

It will look into the establishment of national 72 hours post disaster needs assessment capacity to enable disaster response within 72 hours.

An Earthquake Impact Model, based on the global data and experience from the Nepal EQ, will be developed by Durham University.

It is planned to model various earthquake scenarios and their likely impact in Bhutan to better inform disaster contingency planning.

WFP’s role in improving the dietary and health practices of school aged children

As for nutrition, the WFP is assisting the government in developing a national regulatory framework for food fortification and compliance, supported by the development of national fortification standards and the setting up a rice fortification blending facility. 

 

Karma, a student at the Yurung school in southern Bhutan, holds a freshly harvested pumpkin from the school’s garden.

Photo: WFP/Angeli Mendoza

 

Additionally, WFP is also assisting the government in developing a national framework for the improvement of dietary and health practices of school aged children (6-18 years).

This is expected to support the government’s transition of the National School Feeding programme to a National School Nutrition Programme.

WFP will also support the completion of the National School Nutrition Strategy 2018-30. It will help to develop the following:

  1. a Behaviour Change Strategy for school children and community
  2. a nutrition and district-based menu design,
  3. national health and nutrition curriculum for school age children from 6-18 years and
  4. training of teachers and cooks, create cookbooks and make model kitchens.

The agency will also train 9,000 farmers in planning and production, post-harvest techniques, farmer organisation and business management. It will then link them to schools for increased dietary diversity by providing fresh local food. This will thereby increase the farmers’ income as well.

The country office will also assist Bhutan to reach the SDGs and address the accelerating inequalities caused by new technology such as artificial intelligence.

To replace the current paper-based system and to reduce food waste and waste of nutritional supplements (Vitamin A and deworming pills etc), a health and education monitoring and reporting system has been developed and rolled out nation-wide.

The system will also generate more gender-aggregated data and show the dietary diversity of school children to aid in the design of more nutritious meals.

A game-based learning platform for nutritional education and behaviour change is also planned to motivate children and to integrate physical activities in the school’s learning session.

Another innovation includes the Menu Optimizer Tool to reduce the cost of the school menu by increasing the usage of local food.  

The menu will be designed based on set requirements such as: nutritional content, quantities, maximum cost and the proportion of local food used.

A budget of USD 9m has been earmarked for the next five years, according to the Bhutan Country Strategic Plan, with the largest share going to nutrition support.

The WFP will help to build national human capital and support the government in driving down the costs of programmes and services.

 

This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Practical Emergency Logistics Training Conducted By World Food...

The World Food Programme and the Department of Disaster Management organised the training.

Dec 23, 2018 15:05

UN Supports A ‘Just, Harmonious And Sustainable’ Bhutan – Where...

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

Jan 31, 2019 13:12

Ten Years Since The Inception Of Democracy, Bhutan Has Made...

The National Human Development Report highlights positive results during ten years of democracy in Bhutan.

Mar 21, 2019 15:08

Applying Bhutan’s Tenets Of Gross National Happiness As...

The UNDP Administrator said that there was an extraordinary alignment between the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and...

Mar 19, 2019 10:38

Austria Commits 8.3m Euros To Facilitate Bhutan’s Transition From...

Austria's development assistance to Bhutan started with training for the tourism sector in the late 1970s.

Feb 25, 2019 18:40

EU Commits To Support Bhutan Beyond 2023, After Its Graduation...

“We’re happy to continue working with Bhutan in improving services delivery to the citizens of the country.”

Jan 15, 2019 17:00

Latest

News

Find Innovative Solutions For Every Challenge: Prime Minister Modi To Bhutan’s Youth

Prime Minister Modi said that he ‘sees dynamism and felt energised’ while meeting with the future of Bhutan.

Aug 18, 2019 23:58

Prime Minister Narendra Modi On 2 Day State Visit To Strengthen India-Bhutan Bilateral Ties

Prime Minister Modi is visiting Bhutan upon the invitation of Bhutan's Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.

Aug 17, 2019 23:59

Features

Fulfilling His Majesty The King’s Vision, Digital Drukyul Is Set To Improve Public Service Delivery And Empower Citizens Digitally

Digital Drukyul will help create a digital ecosystem for citizens which is unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape.

Aug 19, 2019 15:28

National Tourism Policy To Be Implemented By July 2020: Tourism Council Of Bhutan

Promoting ‘High value and low volume’ tourism has been Bhutan’s policy for the last 50 years.

Aug 12, 2019 17:48

Sports

Two Young Bhutanese Swimmers Competed In 18th FINA World Championship

The duo are proud to represent Bhutan and compete on a worldwide stage for the first time.

Jul 28, 2019 21:32

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Business

Southeast Asian Company Invests Over US$100,000 In Bhutanese Start-up Drukfood

The investment includes a mix of cash and investment-in-kind.

Aug 15, 2019 14:26

Bhutan’s First Crowdfunding Platform Gaining Traction, Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs To Raise Funds

So far, three promoters - Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform.

Aug 05, 2019 22:10

Travel

7 Facts You Never Knew About Flying Into Bhutan

Druk Asia interviewed Namgyal Wangchuk, Senior First Officer with Drukair to find out what it's like to fly into Paro International Airport.

Aug 07, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Lifestyle

Finding One’s Voice: Rapping In The Kingdom Of Bhutan

The lack of support for rappers stems from the general misconception that most people have about rap.

Aug 10, 2019 23:38

First Bhutan-Bollywood Film Collaboration - Rolong: Make the Dead Walk In The Making

The film is expected to hit the theatres by the middle of 2020.

Aug 04, 2019 23:58

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!