UNCDF’s Executive Secretary, Mr. David Morrison, will be paying a visit to Bhutan from 12th to 15th September 2010. This will be his first visit to Bhutan.
Since 1979, UNCDF has been a long-term development partner to the Royal Government. UNCDF assistance started with primary focus on infrastructure and the agriculture sector. From 1996, UNCDF interventions increasingly focused in the field of decentralization and local governance and microfinance within the 8th Five-Year Plan (FYP).
Decentralization and local governance is considered as an integral part of the democratization process in the 10th FYP (2008-2013) with the twin purpose of empowering people and ensuring balanced, equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.
UNCDF has supported the decentralisation process through the pilot block grants to 10 gewogs under the Gewog Development Fund Activity (GDFA), and subsequently to 32 gewogs under the Decentralisation Support Programme (DSP, 2005-2008) covering five districts of Gasa, Pemagatshel, Lhuntshe, Trongsa and Zhemgang.
This has provided a foundation for the ongoing joint Local Governance Support Programme (LGSP, 2008-2013) in Bhutan. The LGSP is a national programme implemented in 20 districts and 205 gewogs. It is a joint programme with other development partners who have agreed to coordinate and harmonise support in the field of decentralisation and local governance to support the 10th FYP target of poverty reduction to 15 % by 2013.
UNCDF has also been a primary development partner in the area of microfinance through support to rural credit through the Bhutan Development Finance Corporation (BDFC) from 1987-1992. This support extended under the 8th FYP to strengthen capacities for sustainable microfinance.
Currently, UNCDF supports BDFC to develop Savings-led Market Leaders for inclusive finance.
Given the strategic value of the joint Local Governance Support Programme (LGSP) in Bhutan, UNCDF’s current initiative is to formulate support for the local-level financing for climate change adaptation in Bhutan. This will build on the existing platform established by the LGSP support.
Mr. Morrison will meet with the officials from the Royal Government and development partner agencies to discuss the future positioning of UNCDF support.
Mr. David Morrison will be accompanied by Mr. David Jackson, Head of the UNCDF Regional Office in Bangkok.