September 17, 2020, Thimphu: The Bhutan Foundation handed over 200,000 non-medical face masks to the Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan for distribution to vulnerable communities, including the elderly population and pregnant women, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The donation is part of the ongoing “Bhutan Emergency COVID-19 Response and Health System Preparedness” activity supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. Government agency, which leads international development and humanitarian efforts in over 100 countries to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance.
These three layered non-medical face masks, produced by Tarayana Foundation in partnership with the Bhutan Network for Empowering Women and SAARC Business Association of Home based workers, are environment friendly and meet international safety standards. They are made by home-based women workers, thereby generating a sustainable source of income for women during the pandemic.
In coordination with the Royal Government of Bhutan, USAID and the Bhutan Foundation are working to strengthen Bhutan’s healthcare system in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming weeks, USAID and the Bhutan Foundation will also support the distribution of medical supplies that will assist in stopping the spread of hospital-acquired infections as well as other essential medical equipment to assist with Bhutan’s COVID-19 response.