Tajikistan

Assistance to Tajikistan OCHA Situation Update No. 36

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
GENERAL
Emergencies:

Stormy winds and torrential rains affected a number of districts of Sughd Oblast, 200Kms North of the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Friday, 6 June 2003. The First Deputy Minister of Emergencies notified OCHA early on the 7th of June, which activated REACT (Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team) mechanisms for assessment and response. The final figures for Penjikent and surrounding area show that there were 3 fatalities and 357 families (total population 2,047) experienced partial or total damage to their homes. 156 houses were completely destroyed and 195 received serious damage, various sections of road, canal and electricity lines were damaged.

The immediate humanitarian needs like food, shelter and medicines were met, though considerable medium and longer-term development needs remain. Drinking water, irrigation, seed and fertilizer availability are all in need of urgent attention. With many houses destroyed, the focus in the area has switched towards reconstruction, though there is concern that the ruling on rebuilding of homes in their original locations is inappropriate. Aid was provided by MES RT, IFRC/NRCS, UNICEF, WFP. Additionally, agencies like ACTED, FAO, GAA, Save the Children/US pledged to incorporate projects in affected areas into their longer term development work in the agriculture and water sectors (for more info please see OCHA Situation Reports 1,2,3)

Major political events and visits:

Annual EBRD meeting in Tashkent, visit of five (Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Norway and Sweden) Ambassadors of OSCE, French Overseas Trade Minister, Austrian Minister of Internal Affairs, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, OSCE Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari, Delegation of businessmen from Germany, EAEC meetings - National Banks Heads meeting, Council of the Heads of Tax committees in Dushanbe; International conference on drugs in France, President Rahmonov - official visit to Poland, participation in informal CIS summit in St.Petersburg, SCO summit in Moscow

Donors' missions:

The Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and George Soros made country familiarization visits. The Managing Director of the World Bank met with President Rahmanov to discuss issues related to the implementation of structural policy within Tajikistan's national economic program.

AFGHANISTAN

An OCHA visit to the Tajik-Afghan border crossing points found greatly improved and relaxed procedural bureaucracy for the shipment of aid cargoes over the river Pianj. The head of the regional Russian Border Force detachment noted significant declines in aid shipments of late, and added that the majority of cargoes originating in Tajikistan have been construction materials, fertilizers or office equipment for use by international agencies. Afghan goods are increasingly being brought across to Tajikistan, mostly fruit and vegetables. Both river crossing points in Farhor / Kukul and Nizhny Pianj / Sherkhan Bandar are functioning normally. According to the latest data from the Tajik Customs Department the overall assistance delivered through/from Tajikistan to Afghanistan for the period of 1 January 2002- 31 March 2003 is 73,907,190 tons, valued at 26,129,921 USD

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

FOOD SECURITY

During the month of May, WFP Tajikistan together with its Implementing Partners assisted a beneficiary caseload of 223,080 people with 6,586.951 MT of various food commodities. FFW component included various projects such as Health promotion network, School reconstruction, Disaster mitigation project, Food Security (Potato production), Income generation (Sewing and baking activities) with a total amount of 958.600 MTS of various food commodities. Flood protection projects were supported in Jirgatol, Tojikobod, Tavildara and Khorog. Water supply projects were supported in Tavildara and the Bartang Valley.

More than 100 small animals (goats, sheep, calves) had been purchased by FAO Tajikistan for vulnerable women in Kabadiyan, Vakhsh and Pyanj Districts of Khatlon Oblast. Additionally, FAO-established women's groups have received credit from $50 to $200 for private animal breeding and income generating activities including selling agricultural products such as milk, vegetables, potato and wheat. FAO-supported veterinary stations vaccinated all animals.

FAO had the opportunity to present their educational radio broadcast project for farmers at a World Bank forum on Communication Strategies for Community Outreach in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

The opening ceremony of the Youth Friendly Centre (YFC), which is similar to those already established in Dushanbe, Khujand, Kurgan-Tyube, took place in Kulyab on 21 May 2003 within the UNFPA funded project "Strengthening Adolescent's RH". The Centre will be conducting various activities aimed at improving adolescent's awareness on reproductive health issues and spread of communicable diseases.

AKF continued its regular projects under the Health Programme in GBAO with focus on Reproductive Health, Child Survival, Health Management information System, Rationalization of Pharmaceuticals Policy and Management. It is also now analyzing the results of its initiative on conducting the PHC management course together with the Postgraduate Medical Institute in Dushanbe, which was to prepare trainers who would further train groups from various parts of the country on PHC management issues. In addition to that, the nursing workshop with nurse leaders and MoH was carried out with the aims to improve nurse education, dissemination of best practices and coordination of activities between organisations and institutions involved. The Health Reform Programme document of the Department of Health of GBAO was finalized with Technical Assistance from AKF.

Mercy Corps is conducting a program to provide information on social and health issues to potential migrants travelling out of Tajikistan. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has produced one million copies of a pocket brochure targeting migrants with addresses, information and advice about the migration experience. The IOM and its collaborating agencies have distribution outlets for this brochure at major transportation hubs, borders, official government agencies and banks. Mercy Corps is distributing and monitoring a quantity of the brochures at a number of 'non-traditional' outlets such as hair salons, billiard halls, internet cafes and pharmacies. These venues are heavily frequented by persons who currently migrate, or have intentions to do so. One of the main themes of the brochures is on prevention of HIV/AIDS and STIs.

The Swiss funded Sino Project was ratified by the Tajik Parliament in May 2003. The project is designed to complement the on-going WB supported PHC reform project and other projects focusing on the strengthening of family medicine services. Close collaboration is being established with the Project Implementation Unit of the Primary Health Care reform project and the Department for Planning, Coordination and Implementation of the MoH. The project will work together with other international and local agencies in: National training policy on family medicine (starting in April 2003): Introduction of DOTS: Essential drugs and rational use of drugs: Activities will be harmonized between the WB and Swiss supported projects.

WATER AND SANITATION

Mercy Corps' ECHO project for Rehabilitation of Isfara District water supply system, serving 160,000 beneficiaries, is nearing completion. The project involved the renovation and extension of the municipal water supply system in Isfara District. Infrastructure improvement was complemented by a program of mobilization for Water User Committees and hygiene education. Elections for committee members have been held. The project expects to hand over all aspects to the local communities by the end of Summer 2003.

MICRO-CREDIT

The implementation of UNHCR micro-credit projects are taking place in different kinds of credit structures according to ACTED past experience: Rural Fund, Tontine Group, Cash loan for group leaders. The identification of beneficiaries was carried out jointly with ACTED. Before receiving cash credit ACTED conducted training for the beneficiaries. During the reporting period ACTED organized 5 Tontine Groups representing 30 beneficiaries in Kumsangir and Shaartuz. The interest rate for the loan consist 4% of which ACTED will collect 2% and another 2% will go to the group bank.

COMMUNITY MOBILISATION

UNHCR's Implementing Partner, the NGO "Fidokor" conducted seminars with the participation of local NGOs and local communities for the identification of community mobilization projects. After the training, the Grant commission members of "Fidokor", composed of international organization's representatives, regional Hukumats and Region Community Organization have considered submitted project proposals. As a result the Grant Commission approved the proposed budget $US 22,000 for community mobilization projects in Jilikul and Kumsangir districts. Community mobilization projects include the rehabilitation of a water supply system, electricity supply and drainage system in the villages.

GENDER

The UNHCR/MOL/SPD credit project is progressing in Vakhsh. The credit scheme is based on creation of women groups consisting of 6 members. Each woman received 125 to 300 Somoni with 4% of interest rate for month. Before distribution of credit, the NGO credit supervisor organized consultations with women and explained about the procedure of implementation of the project and terms and conditions of credit scheme. During the reporting period 11 groups with a total of 59 women beneficiaries were organized in Vakhsh district. In general the beneficiaries of the project are using the credit for: trade business (buying and selling), agricultural sector, livestock raising, producing of ice cream, bakery and confectionery and flour mills.

MINE ACTION

Both sides of the civil war in Tajikistan used antipersonnel mines and these and UXOs remain a hazard in areas of the former conflict - located mainly in the central Tavildara region. Only 7% of Tajik territory is suitable for agriculture, and there are a number of sites in the central area, which prior to the civil war were agriculturally productive but are no longer in use because of mine and UXO pollution. Continuing livestock losses in the same areas are a serious economic setback to local communities. More recently, antipersonnel mines have been laid by Uzbek forces along its border with Tajikistan and the first deaths and injuries involving civilians in this border area were reported in August 2000. Since then, approximately 60 deaths and in excess of 100 injuries plus extensive livestock losses have been reported Mines were laid along the border with Afghanistan by Soviet forces and Border troops and have been maintained by Russian forces to counter cross border infiltration and for self protection, but in these areas populations are sparse. Very few mined areas are reported as being marked and few records are available.

The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has designated its Commission on Implementation of International Humanitarian Law as the body responsible for mine action. Under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Saidamir Zuhurov, the Commission is in the process of forming an executive Mine Action Cell (TMAC) that with assistance from UNDP, will be responsible for developing policy and strategy proposals; planning, co-ordinating, managing and implementing a comprehensive mine action programme, and compliance with the Government's obligations under the Ottawa Treaty; including destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines - due to be completed by April 2004. This will reduce the impact, and ultimately eliminate the problem of landmine and unexploded ordnance contamination, thereby creating a safe environment in which all the people of Tajikistan may pursue a normal livelihood. A contribution from the British Government is funding this UNDP capacity building support project.

During April, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) carried out an assessment mission to determine needs for an International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database and it is anticipated that installation and operator training will occur in the autumn. Also in April, Canada donated 25 Minelab detectors and sets of personal protective equipment for the use of military clearance teams. A Minelab instructor carried out a one week "train the trainer" programme for military engineers shortly afterwards.

In May, OSCE signed an agreement with the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action under which two survey teams will be raised, equipped, trained and deployed on tasks designated by the TMAC. Personnel for these teams are being released from military service and project funding is being provided by OSCE, Canada and the Geneva Canton of Switzerland

In conjunction with the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan, the International Committee of the Red Cross has been undertaking a mine risk education programme among affected communities for the past two years. Through the Canadian Red Cross Society, assistance is also provided to the Dushanbe Orthopedic Clinic which manufactures lower limb prosthesis.

The problem of mine contamination which most seriously affects the civil population occurs in the border region with Uzbekistan. Until an inter-governmental political solution is found; clearance of mines in areas where the border is not clearly defined will remain problematic. The potential for successful mine action in the central area is highly promising following an improvement in local political stability.

PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

$2.4 million from USA to support efforts against drug-trafficking.

Update on CAP 2003 (as of 19 June 2003)

Appealing Agency
Original Requirements
Revised Requirements
Carry over
Pledges
Contributions
Total resources available
Unmet Requirements
% Covered
FAO
2,274,400
2,274,400
691,340
691,340
1,583,060
30.4%
MCI
1,625,845
1,625,845
1,625,845
0.00%
MERLIN
235,000
235,000
235,000
0.00%
OCHA
471,556
433,932
261,320
261,320
172,612
60.2%
OCHA / REACT
1,218,640
1,218,640
1,218,640
0.00%
OXFAM GB
689,375
689,375
689,375
0.00%
PSF - CI
150,000
150,000
150,000
0.00%
UNDP / RRDP
2,150,000
2,150,000
2,150,000
0.00%
UNDP/ UNSECOORD
417,000
417,000
417,000
0.00%
UNHCR
1,852,538
1,852,538
13,000
772,266
785,266
1,067,272
42.4%
UNICEF
6,918,000
6,918,000
2,339,722
2,339,722
4,578,278
33.8%
WFP
43,101,955
22,500,000
14,748,673
14,748,673
7,751,3277
65.5%
WHO
902,000
902,000
360,752
360,752
541,248
40.0%
GRAND TOTAL
62,006,309
41,366,730
13,000
19,174,073
19,187,073
22,179,657
46.4%
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.