In cooperation with UNFPA and with the support of the Government of Japan we launched a new Joint Programme for the Aral Sea region
2 December 2019, Tashkent. We, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund and the Government of Uzbekistan launched the new Joint Programme called "Building the Resilience of Local Communities Against Health, Environmental and Economic Insecurities in the Aral Sea Region". This initiative will be implemented with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
Karakalpakstan occupies 37% of the territory of Uzbekistan, has 5.5% of its total population, but only 3.5% of total GDP of the country. The disappearing Aral Sea has caused a complex range of human, environmental, socio-economic and demographic problems in the adjacent areas. The climatic situation gets worse by climate change, which provokes frequent droughts. Local livelihoods have become increasingly threatened and multiple interconnected human security challenges emerged.
Speaking at the opening of the launch ceremony, the UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Ms. Matilda Dimovska stated that” the Aral Sea disaster and related environmental catastrophe affects not only Uzbekistan but also the larger Central Asian region. It goes without saying that concerted efforts of all partners, both the government and the international community, is needed to help the people affected by the Aral Sea disaster”.
In his welcoming speech, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Yoshinori Fujiyama marked that ‘Through this project, we expect about 50,000 women to take cervical cancer screening program with proper follow-up, while 15,000 rural people to have improved access to better health infrastructure, and 1,200 schoolchildren have improved education facilities. This project will contribute to social and economic development in Karakalpakstan with better healthcare services, infrastructure and income generation opportunities.”
The new Joint Programme will have two main focus areas and implemented in the 9 northern districts of Karakalpakstan over its two-year duration:
1. Improve the quality of health care services, particularly in remote rural areas through strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of local healthcare system for maternal, child and reproductive health service;
2. Enhance income generation opportunities of the affected population through inclusive business initiatives, promotion of investments for job creation, as well as through improving access to basic services.
The Programme and its activities will entail close collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Ministries of Health of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan, Women’s Committee, as well as international and bilateral donors.