Press Release No.27
NEW DELHI: 8 August 2011
1. The Government of Japan agreed today to extend a grant assistance of 1,019 million yen (approximately 12.7 million US dollars) to the Royal Government of Bhutan, for “the Project for Restoration and Improvement of Vital Infrastructure for Cyclone Disaster”. The ‘Exchange of Notes’ to formalize the grant assistance was conducted in New Delhi between H.E. Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan, and H.E. Mr. Vetsop Namgyel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to Japan.
2. Under this project, the Government of Japan will support construction of two bridges (Dolkhola and Jigmiling) on National Highway No. 5, and three bridges (Mandechhu, Kela and Jangbi) on the access road connecting to National Highway No.4, applying Japan’s experiences in preventing disasters.
3. The project aims to improve access for local residents by restoring the bridges that were damaged by Cyclone Aila which hit Bhutan in May 2009, and to secure access from the cyclone disasters that may hit these areas in future, with a view to Japan’s active promotion of anti-disaster cooperation.
4. Japan has already extended two Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP), under which two wooden bridges were reconstructed in Haa Dzongkhg, and riverbanks in Paro Dzongkhg were reinforced. Today’s grant assistance would further help Bhutan’s efforts to restore the infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Aila.
5. The Government of Japan hopes that this grant assistance would help the development of a safe, efficient and reliable road network as part of balanced regional development in rural areas, as envisaged in the 10th Five Year Plan, as well as contribute to further strengthening of the friendly relationship between Japan and Bhutan.