(From August/September Transitions Newsletter.)
In early July, Robert Mister, from ERD Geneva, took part in a joint UNDP-OCHA mission to Uzbekistan to gain a better understanding of the drought situation. Northwest Uzbekistan has been affect by the worst drought for a number of years affecting some 550,000 to 600,000 people. The drought results from both natural and structural causes that have also increased soil salinity levels considerably. The long term impact of the drought is therefore likely to continue for some years to come.
The mission identified a number of immediate needs around water supply, locally purchased food, health, monitoring and coordination. In the longer term the mission recommended the following actions:
- Deployment of a Drought Mitigation Expert / Advisor: in order to support the UN Resident Coordinator and the local UNDP office, it is proposed that UNDP deploy a Drought Mitigation Expert / Advisor to Tashkent to support in the formulation of medium and longer-term response and mitigation measures to drought.
- Recovery and Mitigation Framework: To address the medium and longer-term drought recovery and mitigation requirements, the team recommends that a Recovery and Mitigation Framework be developed by the drought mitigation expert over the course of two to three months.
- Drought Trust Fund: To enhance UNDP's response and recovery capability in Uzbekistan and to provide a flexible funding mechanism the team recommended the utilization of either (a) the UNDP Crisis and Post-Conflict Trust Fund (available immediately) or (b) as proposed by the UNDP Country Office, the establishment and utilization of an Uzbekistan Drought Trust Fund.
- Response and Recovery Implementation: The team recommended that the implementation of immediate and longer-term initiatives to be through national and International NGOs.
Contact: Yasemin Aysan, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.