UN Aral Sea Programme

Project Goal

 Karakalpak children now have access to safe drinking water
UNDP in Uzbekistan: Karakalpak children now have access to safe drinking water

The 'UN Aral Sea Programme' works to improve the economic, food, health and environmental security of low-income rural communities of Karakalpakstan.

The drying up of Aral Sea to 30 per cent of its initial size due to an unsustainable use of natural resources, for instance the heavy extraction of water for irrigation purposes, has had a negative impact on the region’s economy, social sphere and livelihoods of the population. Traditionally, the Aral Sea provided both irrigation and fishing opportunities, while nowadays due to the reduced water flow, the fishing industry and related sectors are devastated, resulting in a high as ever unemployment. Basic social infrastructure is scarce in many communities, including clean water, gas and electricity. The combined impact of the above factors puts serious implications upon the health and wellbeing of the population, forcing many to relocate. Therefore, the Joint Programme will target the population of the region who now find themselves in very difficult socio-economic conditions.

Our Results

  • Created a network of agro-consultants to promote improved agricultural practices among rural population and manage demonstration plots in three target districts;
  • 150 dehkhans (small subsistence farmers) from Baday-tugay nature reserve area, of the Amudarya district, were equipped with techniques of sustainable land management and ways to bring degraded land back into productive use;
  • 160 primary healthcare workers trained in sexual and reproductive health, family planning and counselling of vulnerable women and young people;
  • Established a group of 7 trainers to enhance the abilities of public authorities;
  • Trained 516 people from target districts, 40% of them women, in income generation, primary healthcare and governance engagement.


The following approaches will be employed in order to achieve the programme's sustainability:

  • Existing institutions at every level will be strengthened to fulfill their mandate and to provide better services to the population.
  • In regards to the improvement of livelihoods, the sustainable use of land and water to improve agricultural productivity, as well as food security, will be promoted through the introduction of new practices, while also ensuring that the target group develops the capacity and understanding needed to be able to maintain these practices. In addition, lead dekhkan extension agents and reputable supply points will be developed to ensure that the target groups have a reference point to which they can turn to in case they need further support once the programme finishes.
  • Where inputs are provided by the project, a cost-sharing element will always be present.

Through the mechanisms outlined above, the programme will establish a real sense of ownership by the target group over the project initiatives, thus ensuring their long-term sustainability.

Project Start Date:
June 2012
Estimated End Date:
February 2015
Geographic Coverage:
Focus Area:
Economic Governance
1. Improve living standards and reduce malnutrition
The Ministry of Economy, the Aral Genofund, and the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan
USD 3,840,450
Dildora Tadjibaeva, Project Manager
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