WFP Bhutan Country Brief, October 2021

Situation Report
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WFPs capacity strengthening, and technical assistance continued in agriculture (enterprise promotion, linking farmers to schools and hospitals), emergency preparedness (telecommunications and logistics preparedness) and nutrition. The country office is also stepping up efforts to mobilize resources particularly from climate funds.

Operational Update

• The Department of Agriculture and WFP organised a weeklong capacity building program on ‘Promoting Enterprises in Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) sector of Bhutan’ in Bumthang. A total of 36 (19 female and 17 male) participants with diverse expertise and background attended the workshop. Project proposal development, sourcing of investment finances, certification processes, research and development of food product, value addition, cold chain, marketing and potential of small-scale enterprises were some of the primary contents discussed during the workshop.

• WFP supported the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC) and Regional Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (RAMCO)-Gelephu office to revive the linking of Agriculture and Livestock Farmers’ Groups with Schools and Hospitals in Tsirang under the School and Hospital Feeding Programme (SHFP). The stakeholders involved in the linking process were educated on how the stakeholders involved should collaborate, creating synergies, fostering mutually beneficial partnership and ensuring trade-off in the long run.

• WFP is assisting the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and relevant agencies of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) to prepare concept note for the Adaptation Fund - Large Innovation Grant project. The aim is to develop a proposal that assists smallholder farmers to address their key identified climate change risks, and to increase their resilience and adaptive capacity. WFP has conducted two stakeholder workshops with relevant agencies and institutions as a part of the concept note application process.

• The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) celebrated World Food Day on October 18 with a global theme, “Our actions are our future - better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.” WFP Head of Office joined officials from international organizations and government agencies. The day reinforced the need to encourage awareness on sustainable agricultural practices and to celebrate the ‘Food Heroes’ who work tirelessly to provide food for the world, collectively call for global solidarity in ensuring adequate access to nutritious food for all despite exigencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.