Disaster Risk Management in Bhutan 2019-2023
Bhutan Hazard Overview
Bhutan Is vulnerable to myriad natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, glacial lake out-burst floods (GLOF), landslides, and forest fires. Compounding exposure to natural hazards are the underlying vulnerabilities of Bhutan, including poor construction techniques, rapid urbanisation and low levels of understanding in disaster man-agement practices. Despite these challenges, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has made substantial progress in disaster risk management (DRM).
The 2013 Disaster Management Act established the National Disaster Management Authority and Disaster Management Committees in all 20 dzongkhags (districts). Nevertheless, Bhutan lacks the necessary data information systems, re-sponse plans and coordination systems to ade-quately prepare for and respond to emergencies.
WFP DRM Overview
With strong support from the RGoB, the World Food Programme (WFP) has been present in Bhu-tan since 1974 supporting a range of food securi-ty, nutrition and DRM goals. The WFP Country Strategic Plan (CSP) identifies disaster risk man-agement as a core area of focus for 2019-2023 with the Strategic Outcome 2: Government has strengthened capability to address food security and nutrition challenges and prepare for and respond to crises.
Accordingly, following an interagency contingency planning workshop in 2017, an earthquake simu-lation and logistics capacity assessment in 2018 and ongoing discussions with the RGoB, WFP has supported the Government in developing a Roadmap for Disaster Risk Management in Bhutan.
The Roadmap, developed in March 2019, sets out priority actions for Government, UN agencies and other developmental partners to respond to identified gaps in disaster management. The Roadmap has six focus areas: Disaster Aware-ness; Data Preparedness; Governance; Coordi-nation; Resourcing; and Sector Preparedness. Under each of these sectors, a set of actions with corresponding timeline, budget, outcome and partners are articulated.