Bhutan

WFP Bhutan Country Brief, October 2019

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Situation Report
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Highlights

WFP supports nutrition and agriculture in Bhutan, which includes strengthening the capacity of farmers and government agencies. One component of this support is on developing WFP’s innovative menu optimizer tool, ‘PLUS’. Additionally, as part of WFP’s support of food fortification in Bhutan, WFP is working on the development of Bhutanese standards for fortified rice, which will form the starting point for the development of a regulatory and compliance framework for fortified rice.

Operational Updates

• WFP took part in the Scale-up Innovation Bootcamp in Google’s headquarters in San Francisco. During the event, WFP presented the School Meals Menu Optimizer tool called ‘PLUS’.
Bhutan is the lead country of implementation for the tool, which will ensure that the meals in the school feeding programme are nutritious.

• The implementing agencies of the national school feeding and nutrition programme, including WFP, UNICEF and FAO, convened a consultative workshop in October to finalize a draft handbook for the programme. The handbook has been shared to be tested by 20 selected schools across the country. The School Health and Nutrition Division of the Ministry of Education hopes to finalize and release the handbook, which provides practical guidance on the implementation of the programme at the school level as well as the district and national levels.

• In collaboration with the Royal Education Council of Bhutan, WFP is in the process of developing a game-based learning application called EduTrition. A gaming company from India has been contracted to develop the prototype with support from the WFP Innovation Centre in Munich. The platform will strengthen nutrition education and integrate physical activity in the schools’ learning sessions, to address micronutrient deficiencies and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in children.

• WFP Bhutan participated in a workshop coordinated by the Bhutan Standards Bureau held from 24-25 October with the aim of drafting the national standards for fortified rice and fortified rice kernels. These draft standards will be presented to a higher technical committee in Bhutan prior to a nation-wide circulation. Food fortification is an important nutrition activity supported by WFP in Bhutan to address micronutrient deficiencies among the Bhutanese. WFP is supporting the multi-sectoral Food Fortification Taskforce by developing a regulatory and compliance framework for the Food Fortification Programme. This will start with the development of Bhutanese standards for fortified rice.