World Bank Vice President Visits Bhutan, Reiterates Continued Support

THIMPHU, November 18, 2022- World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region, Martin Raiser, today concluded his first visit to Bhutan and reaffirmed the World Bank’s continued support for the country’s green, resilient, and inclusive development.

“Bhutan’s unique development philosophy of promoting national happiness is inspiring, and its record as the world’s first carbon-negative country with notable achievements in poverty reduction and human development deserves global recognition,” said Raiser. “As the country recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses the economic challenges resulting from high energy and food price inflation and slowing global economic activity, the World Bank remains committed to supporting Bhutan’s resilience and creating opportunities for its people.”

During his four-day visit, Raiser met with the Prime Minister of Bhutan and commended Bhutan’s successful vaccination campaign that helped save lives, and the kingdom’s remarkable efforts to maintain its net-negative carbon emission status. He reiterated the World Bank’s readiness to help Bhutan address its most pressing economic challenges as global uncertainties and crises loom.

Raiser also met with senior government officials, including, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Economic Affairs. During these discussions, Raiser emphasized the importance of prudent fiscal and monetary policies to ensure macroeconomic balance, and continued policy reforms to boost human capital, promote private sector development and create jobs for Bhutan’s youth.

Raiser’s program in Bhutan also included meetings with private sector and women’s group representatives, development partners and visits to selected World Bank-supported projects.

World Bank in Bhutan

Since 1981, Bhutan and the World Bank have established a strong partnership to help advance Bhutan’s

development agenda. World Bank support includes financial and technical assistance to strengthen macro-fiscal stability, public financial management, human capital, resilience and disaster risk management, food security and agricultural productivity, education and skills, youth employment, and rural entrepreneurship, among others. Currently, the World Bank’s engagement in Bhutan includes commitments in the amount of over $100 million.

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