The Kingdom of Bhutan and the World Bank Group: Realizing Prosperity for the Bhutanese People

The Kingdom of Bhutan (Bhutan) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have long-term relationship, and it has been evolving in recent years with the establishment of the Country Office. Bhutan became the member of the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA)) in 1981 followed by its membership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2003 and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in 2014. The Bhutan Country Office established in 2011 is represented by the Resident Representative (Yoichiro Ishihara) under the supervision of the Country Director (Qimiao Fan) for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal based in Bangladesh. WBG’s partnership with Bhutan has been fully aligned with the country’s development visions such as the Constitution, Bhutan Vision 2020 and the 11th five-year plan (FYP). The partnership is articulated in WBG’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY2015-2019. The CPS is organized its activities under three results areas: (a) improving fiscal and spending efficiency; (b) increasing private sector growth and competitiveness; and (c) supporting green development. The Royal Government of Bhutan and the World Bank group jointly conducted the Performance and Learning Review (PLR). The PLR assessed the implementation progress of the CPS to date, and based on the assessment, made necessary adjustments to the program for the remaining period of the strategy. It was consulted the Government, representatives from private sector and CSOs and development partners. World Bank decided to double the country allocation to $100 million with more favorable terms between 2017 and 2020. To support Bhutan’s development with the increased availability of IDA financing with much better terms, the World Bank has started strategic discussions with the Government to ensure alignment with the government preparations of the 12th FYP. World Bank’s operations are conducted through three channels: IDA credit, grants and trust-funded activities and, advisory services and analytics (ASA). As of August 2017, the World Bank has successfully delivered its second series of Development Policy Credit 2 ($24 million) and has two ongoing projects under implementation with IDA credits: Second Urban Development Project ($29 million, until 2019) and Remote Rural Communities Development Project ($9 million until 2018). To complement the projects with IDA credits, the World Bank also provides support through more than 10 grants / trust-funded activities including Improving Resilience to Seismic Risk ($1.3 million), Bhutan Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) readiness project ($3.8 million) and Sustainable Financing for Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management Project ($4 million), Global Agriculture Food Security Program (US$8 million), Hydromet Services and Disaster Resilience Regional Project ($3.8 million), Bhutan BLSS Economic Census ($0.7 million) and the Preparation of Strategic  Program of Climate Resilience ($1.5 million)). These activities are underpinned by Advisory Services and Analytics (ASAs). The World Bank, for example, has conducted the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment,  and In-Depth Labor Study and is in the process of finalizing the Investment Climate Assessment and Agribusiness Policy Note. Further, the World Bank will soon operationalize the Multi-Donor Fund on Public Financial Management (PFM) – supported by European Union and Austria. 

from World Bank Search – NEWS http://ift.tt/2pZQtKB

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