English | Dzongkha Saturday, July 24, 2021

SDF hands over Nu 36 million COVID-19 grant to the health ministry

Jun 16, 2021

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund (SDF) granted more than Nu 36 M to the Health Ministry as a COVID-19 emergency grant today. The grant is the first tranche of the total grant of over Nu 73 M. The Ministry said the grant will be used for preparedness and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officer-in-Charge of SDF, Mr Anuj Goel, presented the cheque of over Nu 36 M to the Health Secretary, Dr Pandup Tshering. Mr Anuj Goel said the support is expected to strengthen the COVID-19 response in all the member states to protect the people of the region during these difficult times.

The Health Secretary added the grant will particularly be used to strengthen COVID-19 response and surveillance in the country.

“The grant will be basically used for strengthening preparedness response to COVID-19. We will be strengthening the ICU facilities in Monggar hospital with equipment and all that. Some fund will also be used for training our workers as a response to COVID-19. We will be also using the grant for buying test kits, surveillance purposes and other related activities related to Covid-19 preparedness and response,” said Dr Pandup Tshering, the Health Secretary.

He also said there are opportunities for the member states to apply for future grants if the current project is implemented well.

“Right now we received 50% and the rest will be given to us once we finish implementing the current grant. We are also told that if we can implement this project properly, there is an opportunity for us to apply for future grants too,” added Dr Pandup.

The grant to Bhutan is part of the 7.75 million USD, which the SDF Board had approved last year as a COVID-19 emergency grant to the SAARC Member States. It is to support the countries in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SAARC Development Fund and the Health Ministry had already executed the Project Financing Agreement or PFA marking the commencement of the project’s implementation.

According to the SDF, the office received project proposals from seven of the eight Member States.

Tshering Dendup

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