The Kingdom of Bhutan is a mountainous and landlocked country of just over 777,000 (World Bank data, 2021) inhabitants in South Asia.
The country’s development philosophy is based on the concept of "Gross National Happiness" (GNH). This seeks to balance spiritual and material advancement through sustainable and equitable economic growth and development, protection and sustainable use of the environment, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, and good governance.
Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world and EU policies aim to support the country to maintain that status. Our interests are focused on supporting sustainable development and remaining carbon negative, addressing women’s empowerment, strengthening democratic institutions, and supporting green growth and digital opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.
For 2021-2027 the 3 priority areas we support are
- climate change and green growth
- good governance for economic development
- digital transition in education and public services
Climate change and green growth for a resilient Bhutan
This priority has 4 objectives
- foster economic diversification in the renewable and natural resources (RNR) sector
- scale up climate-resilient approaches for natural resource management
- enhance food and nutrition security
- promote effective and inclusive RNR service delivery
This priority will attract €15 million or 48% of the total allocation for the 2021-2024 period.
Good governance for inclusive socioeconomic development
The objectives for this priority relate to
- strengthening good governance in local government and public service delivery
- strengthening macroeconomic stability and public finance management
- improving monitoring and oversight mechanisms
This priority will attract €12 million or 39% of the allocation from 2021-2024.
Digital transition as a driver for change in education and the delivery of public services
The two objectives are
- strengthening digitalisation in the education system
- strengthen digitalisation in public services
This priority will attract €2.5 million or 8% of the total allocation from 2021-2024.
Support measures will focus on promoting an environment allowing the Civil Society Organizations Authority of Bhutan, civil society organisations (CSOs) and international non-governmental organisations to better contribute to the development and governance of Bhutan.
They will also support civil society to
- engage on gender and climate change adaptation and mitigation
- promote inclusive growth for sustainable economic diversification
- promote the involvement of CSOs in response to the ratification and implementation of remaining human rights conventions
These support measures will receive €1.5 million from 2021-2024.