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Since 1982, Save the Children's history in Bhutan has been an amazing journey. From small beginnings, today our programs reach children throughout the country and we have become a trusted partner for the government and the community.
In 2009, the various institutions and mechanisms of the newly elected government took root. It was a momentous year as the country successfully transitioned to a democracy. While the new government remains committed to addressing education and child-related issues, new challenges are emerging in the areas of adolescent development, youth unemployment — that now stands at close to 13 percent — and providing access to basic education to an estimated 12 percent of children living in remote areas of the country.
Flash floods from major rivers in May 2009 caused major destruction to lives and property and jolted the government to take a more serious look at its emergency and disaster management preparedness. Despite significant progress in basic health, education, communication and in harnessing hydropower, close to 70 percent of the population still earns its livelihood through subsistence farming and over 30 percent of people live below the poverty line.
Save the Children started its first program activities in Bhutan in 1982 in the remote community of Edi in southern Zhemgang and today Save the Children programs reach children in all 20 districts. In 2010, Save the Children, in agreement with the Royal Government of Bhutan, will focus on the following areas:
Bhutan Facts and Statistics
Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2012; Life Expectancy at Birth: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; National Poverty Rate: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; Population: CIA World Factbook 2012; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated October 2013