Thimphu, 23rd May, 2013: The Grant Agreement for the “PHRD Grant for Improving Resilience to Seismic Risk” was signed today between Mr. Om Bhandari, Acting Representative to Bhutan, The World Bank and Mr. Lam Dorji, Finance Secretary in Thimphu. Under the Grant Agreement, the Royal Government of Bhutan will receive a Grant of US$1,285,500 from the World Bank, acting as administrator of grant funds provided by the Government of Japan under the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Technical Assistance Program to Support Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
The objective of the Project is to improve the understanding of earthquake risk in Bhutan as well as opportunities and challenges associated to its mitigation. The Project will support the following activities:
- Investigations and mapping for improved understanding of seismic risk
- Structural vulnerability assessments and pilot retrofitting of public buildings
- Development of guidelines for new construction and strengthening of existing traditional buildings
- Development of Emergency Structural Assessment Capacity
The project is to be coordinated by the Department of Disaster Management under the Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs and the implementing partners will be the Department of Geology and Mines under the Ministry of Economic Affairs; the Department of Engineering Services under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement and the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.
This project will also build on the past as well as ongoing projects in the field of disaster management supported by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Currently, the WB / GFDRR is supporting the ongoing efforts by RGoB to improve its capacity to understand and manage disaster risk. This includes operationalization of the newly approved Disaster Management Act 2013, technical assistance on disaster risk information, management, and institutional strengthening for search and rescue.