THIMPHU—December 3, 2015: World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Annette Dixon arrived today on a three-day visit to Bhutan to discuss how the global lender can support the country to address climate change and other development challenges.
The World Bank Vice-President’s first official visit in Bhutan coincides with the International Climate Change Summit (COP21) in Paris. In the spirit of the conference, she will meet with Bhutan’s leadership and discuss World Bank engagements to combat climate change in Bhutan and will announce a series of new initiatives to increase disaster resilience in Bhutan and the rest of South Asia.
“All eyes are currently on the leaders of the world and I applaud the Government of Bhutan’s commitment and leadership in tackling climate change.” said Dixon. “The World Bank has been a key partner and will continue to provide funding and its expertise to help mitigate climate change and build a resilient future.”
Dixon will host a joint session with Bhutan’s Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, to discuss Bhutan’s ambitious climate actions to remain carbon neutral, which will be presented at COP21. She will also have an audience with his Majesty the 5th King and meet with Prime Minister Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay, Minister of Finance, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Minister of Economic Affairs, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, Minister of Works and Human Settlements, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, and Minister of Information and Communication, Lyonpo DN Dhungyel.
The World Bank in Bhutan:
The World Bank strategy in Bhutan focuses on improving rural livelihoods and managing urbanization while protecting the country’s natural assets. It has currently committed $191 million in concessional development credits, a number of technical assistance grants and analytical work for these areas to improve fiscal and spending efficiency, fostering private sector growth and competitiveness and supporting green development. Private sector development is one of the key priorities of the World Bank Group in Bhutan, through supporting a good environment for private sector investment and job creation.
World Bank Group’s commitment to climate finance:
Since 2011, the World Bank Group has committed $52 billion to more than 900 projects with climate-related activities - on average, a little over $10 billion a year. Twenty one percent of the Bank Group’s funding is climate related and, as announced in October, the Bank Group is aiming to raise that to 28 percent by 2020 in response to client demand -- a one third increase in direct climate financing.