English | Dzongkha Saturday, May 30, 2020

UNDP and NSB to assess the socio-economic impact of COVID-19

Apr 1, 2020

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, in most of the COVID-19 press briefings, shared that more than 50,000 Bhutanese working in the tourism sector, including hoteliers, travel agents and tour guides, remain severely affected after the government restricted incoming tourists following the 1st case of COVID-19 in the country on 5th March.

Lyonchhen also shared that the government is coming up with an economic stimulus plan to help the vulnerable groups.

According to a joint press release from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bhutan and National Statistics Bureau (NSB), a survey will be conducted by the NSB in close collaboration with the Gross National Happiness Commission, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and Tourism Council of Bhutan focussing on the people working in tourism and allied sectors in Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Bumthang and Phuentsholing Thromde.

The data will be collected from tomorrow till the 16th of this month via email and over the telephone adhering to the physical distancing guidelines of the Government. And “the findings will help the government design and implement targeted interventions to benefit the most affected and vulnerable individuals,” states the press release.

The press release also says UNDP’s support to this crucial assessment is part of a series of its response support aimed at helping the Royal Government of Bhutan in effectively responding to the COVID-19 emergency so that the country can build back better, safer and stronger.

UNDP Bhutan in close collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other UN agencies in Bhutan will be assessing the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 to the vulnerable section of people in the country.

According to Azusa Kubota, the Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan, the assessment will help the government in identifying the most affected so that they could be helped cope up with the crisis. He said no one should be left behind.

“As the Royal Government rolls out its economic-stimulus package and recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis, data from such assessment will help ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable will be met in a timely and fair manner. That is why we are responding to the critical demands of the Royal Government now. I hope those requested to participate in the survey will be willing and forthcoming to enrich the analysis,” he added.

Kinley Dem

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