Assistance to Tajikistan OCHA Situation Update No. 27

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 23 Oct 2002
GENERAL
UN Secretary - General and Mrs.Annan visited Tajikistan from 21-22 October. The UN SG held talks with President Rakhmonov, met the speakers of both Chambers of the Tajik Parliament and the participants of the Social Accord process. President Rahmonov expressed the gratitude of his country to the UN for providing humanitarian and development assistance to Tajikistan. Views were exchanged on regional security and the fight against drug trafficking. Mr. Annan visited the National Drug Control Agency. The UN Secretary-General also met UN staff working in Tajikistan.

Other major political events:

Summit of the leaders of the Central Asian Cooperation organization (CACO) in Dushanbe, Seventh Summit of the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization in Istanbul, CIS summit in Kishinev, Moldova, international conference on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS problems in Central Asia, State Visit of President Kwasnevsky of Poland.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

The final field draft of the Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Tajikistan was sent to OCHA/Geneva on 1 October 2002. This document is a result of joint efforts of UN agencies, local and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and donors. The Appeal seeks some $65 million to respond to needs identified in different sectors such as water and sanitation, health and nutrition, food security, education and child protection, emergency preparedness, security and coordination. The projects included in the Appeal 2003 illustrate this year's CAP theme "Hope for Future". They acknowledge and substantiate the vision to "bridge" immediate humanitarian requirements with longer-term development strategies and parallel peace-building efforts. The CAP 2003 preparation process was marked by the active participation of NGOs and inclusion of the projects of Mercy Corps, OXFAM GB, PSF CI and Merlin in the Appeal.

Donors' missions:

Swedish International Development Agency, USAID Food Assessment mission (Food for Peace Program), Canadian International Development Agency and SDC (Swiss Development and Cooperation agency) Humanitarian Division, German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

At a ceremony in the Tajik Ministry of Economy the new Japanese Ambassador Mr. Akio Kawato handed over agricultural machinery and equipment, worth 2 billion Japanese yens and procured through UN tenders from Russia, Uzbekistan and Belorus Japanese Government to Tajikistan. The donation of the Japanese Government is aimed to support economic and agricultural reforms and stability in Tajikistan

24 residents of Roshtkala District (GBAO) affected by the landslide in early August joined those 447 persons already resettled from the same area to Bishkent District in Khatlon. According to the latest report from Focus, the situation with shelter, food, medical supplies and security is comparatively good, while the supply of safe drinking water is still critical. NGO OXFAM GB has drafted the project on water system for Bishkent area and is currently negotiating its details with the Japanese Embassy in Dushanbe committed itself to finance this project. In addition to assistance rendered earlier by local authorities and a number of UN Agencies, IOs and NGOs, Global Partners provided some food and non-food items and Focus delivered a certain amount of medicines to relocated population.

Because of the polio outbreak in the border areas of neighbouring Afghanistan, local health authorities are conducting the polio immunization campaign around ten districts of Kulyab zone of Khatlon Region covering all children under 4, including new-borns.

AFGHANISTAN

Construction of the first motor bridge across the Pyanj River, which will connect Tajik and Afghan Badakhshan in the point Tem in Khorog town, is under its way. Its completion is scheduled for 28 of October 2002. Parallel construction of the premises for border guard, custom and veterinary services is being conducted. This operation is financed by MSDSP/AKF and is aimed at facilitating the transportation of humanitarian cargoes and materials to Afghanistan.

An operation to disarm 500 former Northern Alliance fighters in Afghan Badakhshan, which started on 12 October, limited access to areas in Darvaz, Vanj, and Khorog along the Tajik-Afghan border. The Tajik Ministry of Interior informed that during the operation some fighters might attempt to cross into Tajik territory and recommended all UN and International Agencies to restrict movement in the said areas.

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

The first cycle of new Vulnerable Group Feeding community based family targeting started by WFP is in full swing in 4 regions of the country. Distribution of food commodities has already been completed in Jilikul district of Khatlon region (257 MT of food for 9,998 beneficiaries) and some jamoats of Isfara district in Sughd region (about 229 MT of food for 8,914 beneficiaries). Overall distribution was organized well by committee members, and beneficiaries voluntary participated in offloading of the food commodities and handling within the distribution point.

An agreement was signed between GAA and WFP on implementation of the VGF in two provinces - Sughd and DRD, FFW activities and Support to institutions through bakery programme in DRD region. Around 8,592 MT of food were committed under this Agreement. Overall some 36,158 MT of food were committed to different programmes implemented by international organizations such as Mission East, SC/US, ACTED, IFRC, GAA, CARE, MSF, AAH etc.

On 3 September, 10 Afghan refugees were detained by the security authorities, and 8 of them were deported to Afghanistan on 17 September despite intensive efforts made by UNHCR to prevent them. This was second case of refoulement during the past two months. The first one took place on 15 August when one Afghan refugee was returned by force. UNHCR met with all relevant authorities and made demarches to the Government of Tajikistan and raised the issue with international and diplomatic community in Tajikistan. As a result, a joint demarche was made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan by several Embassies. The Ambassadors of UK, USA, Germany, France, Japan, OSCE and Head of UNTOP, jointly made a statement through the MFA condemning the refoulement and calling on the Government of Tajikistan to observe International law and to collaborate with UNHCR.

The Refugee Status Determination procedure, which was suspended in mid 2000, was resumed and to date 535 persons got their refugee status extended for one year. Those rejected were informed of their right to appeal and several cases are now under the consideration of the court. UNCHR through its partner TILAC (Tajik Information and Legal Aid Centre) provides legal representation. In view of these developments UNHCR has intensified its training activities. Together with TILAC, UNHCR urgently organized two training seminars for judges, representatives of OVIR, State Migration Service, and Ministry of Security on the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol as well as the Refugee Law and the concept of status determination. These seminars were held in addition to regular trainings conducted by UNHCR.

The voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees continues, bringing the total number to 691 persons/162 families (numbers to be updated). On 25 September the last group of 54 Tajik refugee students arrived from Pakistan, the total number is 253 persons. UNHCR continues to monitor the proper integration of these returnees to their places of origin.

In November of 2002 UNICEF will have Mid-Term Review of the Country Programme with the objective to have a systematic and in-depth review of the progress of the country Programme since 2000, in close collaboration with government and other counterparts. In addition, the goal is to derive lesson learnt so as to improve the quality of programme implementation. Therefore, UNICEF has conducted several studies this year in order to have an updated situation analysis of children and women. In preparation for the Mid-Term Review, presently UNICEF is in the process of validating the results of the studies in discussions with relevant ministries and at the same time, different sectors are holding a project review meeting with relevant counterparts. The other UNICEF activities included: active participation in National Immunizations Days in Tajikistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, distribution of iron pills in GBAO and Sughd Regions, identification and assessment of 200 schools for implementation of water and sanitation projects in Sughd and Khatlon, procurement of 1200 tons of coal for schools of 5 districts in Rasht Valley.

UNFPA has monitored activities of eight NGOs on advocacy of family planning, reproductive health, reproductive rights and gender in the framework of UNFPA "Advocacy" project in Sughd and Khatlon Regions. Monitoring revealed positive attitude by local authorities and population to information on family planning and reproductive health. Local authorities supported seminars conducted by NGOs in all visited places. During dialogues with local authorities and some other people in different districts UNFPA was informed that local authorities organize sensitization meetings with population on the government's demographic policy and benefits of family planning. Remarkably, Khukumat of Baldjuvan district (22, 000 population) allocated TJS 1,000 to procure contraceptives (mainly IUDs) to be distributed free of charge to the most vulnerable women. In Dangara district audience expressed support to the government's demographic policy. All of these evidences of positive developments testify that the effort taken by the central government has boosted action on the part of local governments, understanding of population issues and appreciation of family planning in the country. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNFPA and International NGO "Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres" has been signed. The overall objective is improvement of reproductive health of the population in 12 selected districts as well as decrease of the abortion rate and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). The strategy is to strengthen the Logistic and Management Information Systems (LMIS) of contraceptives and reproductive health by upgrading selected RH facilities through regular and adapted supplies of contraceptives and ensuring a proper stock management leading to the continuous availability of contraception supplies. Total cost of the activity is USD 135.000.

PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

The OPEC Fund for International Development approved a grant of US$200,000 to support a scheme to revitalize medical care services for women and children in Tajikistan. Developed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the project aims to improve the health and nutritional status of some 2.2 million women and children, particularly those living in remote, rural areas.

The amount of US $259,817 was awarded under the Japanese Government's Grant Assistance for Grass Roots Projects. This grant will be used to support humanitarian and social development activities of local authorities, local and international non-government organizations. Since January 2002, the Japanese Embassy in Dushanbe has supported 21 Grass Roots Projects valued at US $ 874,988.

The last dispatch of food aid package, which also included some 100 tonnes of tea, vegetables and canned meat, oil and some 500 tonnes of gas, was delivered in the middle of October to Tajikistan within the framework of overall 5,000 MT Russian humanitarian aid in overcoming the consequences of last year's devastating drought.

Update on CAP 2002 (as of 23 October 2002)

Appealing Org.
Original Requirements
Revised Requirements
Contributions
Pledges
Carry over
Total resources available
Unmet Requirements
% Covered
FAO
3,951,075
3,951,075
561,727
0
0
561,727
3,389,348
14.22%
IOM
591,252
591,252
329,000
0
0
329,000
262,252
55.64%
MCI
144,615
144,615
0
0
0
0
144,615
0.00%
OCHA
436,033
436,033
317,201
0
0
317,201
118,832
72.75%
SCF
924,727
924,727
0
0
0
0
924,727
0.00%
UNDP
6,811,443
6,811,443
0
0
0
0
6,811,443
0.00%
UNFPA
754,500
754,500
0
0
0
0
754,500
0.00%
UNICEF
2,090,000
2,090,000
1,725,577
0
0
1,725,577
364,423
82.56%
UNIFEM
542,438
542,438
0
0
0
0
542,438
0.00%
WFP
58,997,972
58,997,972
27,199,699
0
36,197,972
63,397,671
-4,399,699
100.00%
WHO
1,312,630
1,312,630
0
0
0
0
1,312,630
0.00%
TOTAL
76,556,685
76,556,685
30,133,204
0
36,197,972
66,331,176
10,225,509
86.64%

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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