Feb 12, 2015

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – successful past cooperation and future increase of the UN programmes in Tajikistan were among the matters discussed during the UNCT Tajikistan’s meeting with Tajik President on review of joint priorities for new development strategies.

Mr. Alexander Zuev, UN Resident Representative and representatives of major UN agencies in Tajikistan: Ms. Lucia Elmi (UNICEF), Dr. Pavel Ursu (WHO), Mr. Viorel Gutu (UN FAO), Mr. Nicolas Oberlin (WFP), Ms. Aliona Niculita (UNDP), Ms. Vera Tkachenko (UNODC) and Mr. Kevin Allen (UNHCR) represented the UNCT at the meeting with the President of Tajikistan and discussed joint actions on most important and strategic priorities for national development of Tajikistan for the next years.

Head of the Tajikistan Government underlined the fruitful cooperation of the United Nations with the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and noted: “all UN actions towards reaching the MDGs in Tajikistan aimed at achieving sustainable development and improving the livelihood of population have been successfully undertaken in line with National Development Strategy”.

Mr. Alexander Zuev thanked the President for this unique opportunity for UNCT to meet with the Head of State and thanked him for his support to the UN work in Tajikistan. “Today’s meeting has extreme importance because currently UN is finalizing its new Development Assistance Framework for Tajikistan (UNDAF) for the period from 2016 to 2020 which we plan to sign with the Government in early March” stated Mr. Zuev”.

Mr. Zuev pointed out that in the frames of UNDAF 2010 – 2015 UN agencies, funds and programmes in Tajikistan delivered programmes and projects for the total amount of 383 million US dollars in all areas of operation.  Mr. Zuev informed that the new UNDAF for the period of 2016 to 2020 will mobilize almost 11% more funds from all UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The new UNDAF was developed in close consultations with the Government and people of Tajikistan and it will focus on implementing UN programmes with aim of achieving the key result areas, including democratic governance, rule of law and Human rights, sustainable and equitable economic development, social development, inclusion and empowerment, resilience and environmental Sustainability. The next UNDAF will consist of a set of programmes fully aligned with national strategies in all sectors and will be based on MDGs and the new set of internationally-agree sustainable development goals.

Ms. Lucia Elmi, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan, congratulated the President for the recent decision to establish an Ombudsperson for Children and noted that this timely decision is in line with the concluding observations of the 2010 Geneva Committee on the Rights of Children. Further efforts of the Government to ensure fully inclusive system, particularly for girls and children with disabilities will be supported.

In continuation of the discussion, Mr. Nicolas Oberlin, WFP Representative in Tajikistan, noted that WFP started its activities in Tajikistan with the provision of emergency food assistance during the crisis years, and is now a full partner of the Government to achieve better food security and nutrition for the people of Tajikistan. Mr. Oberlin put particular emphasis on the School Feeding Programme, which provides a hot lunch every day to almost 400,000 children in more than 2,000 primary schools countrywide.

Mr. Viorel Gutu, UN FAO Representative in Tajikistan, emphasized that Tajikistan has a huge potential for agricultural development, given its natural conditions and affirmed further support to Tajikistan for sustainable development in food and agriculture sector. On behalf of UN Specialized Agencies, Mr Gutu expressed appreciation for recent ratification of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN Specialized Agencies, which will extend the field of opportunities for cooperation with the Government of Tajikistan.”

Dr. Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative in Tajikistan, noted that the joint efforts over the last years resulted in a stronger capacity and performance of key public health programmes, with no outbreaks of communicable diseases and good performance trends in TB and HIV programmes.  Malaria control programme has shown excellent results, with 99% decrease in new cases over the last 5 years.

He voiced the good trends in the sphere of maternal and infant health, in particular, consistent decrease of maternal and infant mortality rates have shown over the last years. Further potential to reach fully the MDG targets would require consistent health system strengthening actions and moving towards universal health coverage, efforts which are emphasized in the country’s health sector development strategy 2010-2020 strongly supported by UN and the development partners.

In conclusion, Mr. Zuev used the opportunity to congratulate the people of Tajikistan and personally, the Head of State with important progress achieved in reaching many Millennium Development Goals and especially in reducing poverty in the country in a few years from 82% down to 32% in 2014.

As emphasized by Mr. Zuev, “this is a very impressive progress and not too many countries in the world managed to achieve such great results in poverty eradication”. He stated that the United Nations System will continue to give clear priority to collaboration with Tajikistan, and its support to the national development plans of the country and all agencies, funds and programmes in Tajikistan will undoubtedly work in the same dynamic pace for the next UNDAF period.

The UN has been present in Tajikistan since 1992 with the aim to assist the Government in implementing the Country Development reforms and provide support in the achievement of the National Development Strategies and international development goals. Presently, with 23 resident UN agencies Tajikistan is the largest UN operation country in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

For more information please contact:  Safarbek Soliev,  External Relations Advisor

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