As global donors and partners prepare to pack up, Bhutan starts homework for its graduation from least developed country to middle-income country.
While many donors have set plans to phase out their support, India and Japan committed to support Bhutan in making a smooth transition.
Donor countries and agencies praised Bhutan for the progress achieved so far and expressed the need to continue their support in the 12th Plan and completing the last mile in graduating from the least development country (LDC) category.
UN assistant secretary general and UNDP regional director for the Asia and the Pacific, Haoliang Xu told the gathering of Bhutan’s donors that the Bhutanese government is serious about development and that the linkage between the SDGs and GNH is encouraging.
UN’s country resident coordinator Gerald Daly said the UN will support Bhutan in exploring and accessing alternate sources of financing and in so doing, will support the building of an evidence-based investment case to attract investors to partake in Bhutan’s unique conservation journey, with special emphasis on the achievement of, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 on poverty eradication, SDG 13 on Climate Action, SDG 15 on Life on Land, and their essential linkages to the other SDGs.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said, when the development partners feel it’s time to go, it’s time to celebrate, not because they are leaving but because in phasing out it reflects that certain jobs have been done and done well.