DUSHANBE – Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), contributed US$1.1 million towards the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) COVID-19 response in Tajikistan. The funds will help WFP support through Cash for Work projects 18,000 people vulnerable people who have been directly affected by the pandemic’s socio-economic impact. Participants will receive cash assistance in exchange for their work on rehabilitating or constructing community assets such as irrigation canals, drinking water supply systems and forestry areas in the targeted communities.
“Switzerland remains very active in helping Tajikistan to counter the impacts of the outbreak of coronavirus and improving the resilience of the population. Ensuring food security is vital and urgent in rural and remote areas. People in these areas suffer from decreased income opportunities, and therefore are not able to purchase enough food for their families”, said Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan Walburga Roos. “While measures such as social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks could help prevent infection, immune systems can be supported by the consumption of sufficient and healthy food.”
WFP is prioritizing food-insecure families—many of them are women-headed households—who cannot secure their basic food needs due to high food prices and reduced remittances from migrant workers.
“WFP is grateful to the Government of Switzerland for its commitment to support the people of Tajikistan during these difficult times”, said the WFP Representative and Country Director, Mr. Alberto Correia Mendes. “This contribution will help us provide much-needed assistance for the poorest families and at the same time inject cash into local markets and benefit entire communities through building long-term assets.”
The SDC is a long-term, strategic partner of WFP on sustainable development interventions, and is funding projects in Tajikistan since 1993. Under its Cooperation Strategy 2017-2021 for Central Asia, Switzerland focuses on four areas: water, infrastructure and climate change; health; governance, institutions and decentralization; employment and economic development.
WFP has been working in Tajikistan since 1993. In addition to its extensive, school feeding and nutrition programmes, WFP implements climate change adaptation and resilience-building interventions. In 2019, WFP assisted some 30,000 people through resilience-building projects across the country. Furthermore, it supports the Government of Tajikistan and other development partners to strengthen national emergency preparedness and response capacities.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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