Tajikistan Humanitarian Situation Report 19 May - 01 Jun 1997
Final round of inter-Tajik talks held in Tehran with successful outcome - the signing by representatives from the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition of the outstanding protocol on guarantees of implementation.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs visits Dushanbe on 29 May to discuss humanitarian issues with the President, Prime Minister, some donor governments, UN officials and other international organisations.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Madame Ogata, visits Dushanbe, Shartuz and Kabodian 31 May to 2 June, also meeting with top level officials and raising awareness about the expected return of between 25,000 and 30,000 refugees from Afghanistan. Small-scale repatriation is currently taking place with nearly 100 refugees from Afghanistan repatriated over the reporting period.
Inter-agency Contingency/Preparedness Round Table on possible population movements into Central Asian Republics convened by UNHCR in Tashkent on 19 May. Follow-up meeting on possible scenarios affecting Tajikistan held in Dushanbe on 27 May.
NGO ACTED expresses concern about extent of malaria in Khatlon Oblast - in four rayons in particular, Bokhtar, Gozimalik, Kurghan Teppe and Vakhsh.
Natural disaster concerns in Tajikistan highlighted at a regional conference of CIS countries in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.
From 22 to 28 May, the final round of the inter-Tajik talks on national reconciliation was held in Tehran under UN auspices and the Protocol on Guarantees of Implementation of the General Agreement on Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan was agreed and signed. At the request of both parties, the Governments of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan agreed to act as political and moral guarantors for the strict implementation of the agreement by the parties.
The report of the Secretary General to the Security Council on issues relating to Tajikistan (S/1997/415) was issued on 30 May recommending extension of the UN Mission of Observers mandate for a period of three months, until 15 September 1997. It also draws attention to the start, at the field level, of discussions between UN Agency and Bretton Woods institutions about how to develop an appropriate strategy to support the peace process including reintegration of refugees and assistance to ex-combatants.
FOOD AID AND LOGISTICS
Mercy Corps International reports that it completed monetisation of 150 MTs of vegetable oil donated by USDA by 30 May. Seventy nine separate contracts were signed with individuals, entrepreneurs and business people to purchase vegetable oil at the Tajik ruble rate of approximately USD 1.04 a litre. Individual purchases ranged from a minimum of 20 cases (480 litres) up to 50 MTs. Proceeds generated from the oil sales amounted to approximately USD 170,000 worth of Tajik rubles that was used to fund 18 agricultural credits and several agricultural, education and health grants. MCI also reports that the first distribution payments were made to the 926 people employed in its four food-for-work projects (i.e., irrigation and canal clearing) located in Leninsky, Gissar and Kolhozabad.
ASSISTANCE TO THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR
The first Agriculture Coordination Group meeting since January was convened by the UN Resident Coordinator on 22 May with participants from 15 different organisations. Issues such as taxation, land reform, small scale private farming and post harvest losses were discussed.
During May, Relief International distributed medical supplies to 18 FAPs and five SVAs in Komsomolabad district and held discussions with local health officials and UTO commanders in the district as well as in Garm, Tajikabad and Jirgital districts.
RI has made an assessment of 21 internats (childrens homes) with 4,000 children and supplied the health workers with a very simple medical kit. The first month of monitoring shows that health workers have distributed prophylactic doses of vitamin A, iron and/or mebendazole to about 3,000 of the children and treated 730 children for common ailments such as respiratory diseases and scabies. In Bokhtar district, RI is coordinating with MERLIN and the Ministry of Health in a special effort for malaria treatment and a more intensive data collection on the problem as well as distributing chloroquine to all RI FAPs in the district. (More information on malaria in next issue.)
Forty refugees from Sherkan Bandar and 56 from Sakhi Cap (near Mazar-I-Sharif) returned to Tajikistan on 20 and 22 May respectively. The majority of those from Sakhi camp returned to Shartuz and Kabodian.
NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION
A regional conference of CIS countries was held in the Republic of Moldova on 20-21 May to follow up on the activities of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) secretariat. Participants drew attention to the problems of the Sarez lake, situated in the eastern part of the Pamir Mountains - an area of very high seismic activity. The fear is that, given the fragility of the natural dam which created the Sarez lake and the possibility of seismic activity causing land and rock slides, the potential failure of the dam may lead to a catastrophe of a global scale. Participants underlined the need for the international community to take action to present the disaster.
OTHER ISSUES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
- The International Federations of the Red Cross issued an Information Bulletin on the flood situation in Tajikistan on 22 May highlighting the damage caused by torrential rains in various districts in Khatlon and GBAO end April and early May and the ongoing work to distribute food parcels, clothing and plastic sheeting to affected families.
- An inter-agency planning meeting, held in Dushanbe on 27 May, reviewed, for contingency purposes, agency preparedness should developments in Northern Afghanistan lead to an influx of either returnees or refugees into Tajikistan. UNHCR plans to follow up with a special workshop in Dushanbe on contingency planning.
- The NGO Capacity Building Programme (Counterpart) reports that it has now trained 263 representatives of 207 local and 56 international organisations in Dushanbe, Kurghan Teppe, Khorog and Khojand with the overall aim of strengthening local NGO capacity and easing the transition to a democratic society and free-market economy. It maintains a Resource Centre (with database on NGOs in Tajikistan) with information and materials about Tajik partners and sources of support for projects. Each Friday afternoon is an open house.
This report is available on the internet through RELIEFWEB: http://www.reliefweb.int
United Nations Office - Dunshanbe
Mr. Peter Simkin / Ms. Sarah Longford
Tel.: (0073772) 21 06 79
Fax: (0073772) 51 00 84
E-Mail: dha @ taj.freenet.kiev.ua:
Inter-Agency Support Branch (IASB) - Geneva
Mr. David Bassiouni - Chief
Mr. Paul Hebert
Tel.: (41 22) 788.6381
Fax: (41 22) 788.6386
Complex Emergency Division (CED)
Mr. David Chikvaidze
Tel.: (1 212) 963.9665
Fax: (1 212) 963.1388
Press to contact (DHA-Geneva)
Ms. Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo
Tel.: (41 22) 917.2856
Fax: (41 22) 917.0023
Telex: 414242 DHA CH