UN Joint Programme
UN's new initiative in Uzbekistan
19-Jul-2012, by Zakiya Abdurazakova, UNDP, via web
UN in Uzbekistan launched its new initiative titled "Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster" - a Joint Programme implemented by UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and UNVolunteers.
The Aral Sea – located in the heart of Central Asia, once the worlds economy, social sphere and livelihoods of the population, especially of the farthest located districts such as Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul, with a total population of 130,000 people.
During his visit in April 2010 the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the impact that the shrinking of the Aral Sea has had on the human security in the region and described it as “one of the world`s worst environmental disasters”. In fact, a decision was made to launch a UN Programme covering multiple sectors, such as income generation, healthcare and community development, that would serve to improve the welfare of the population.
The Joint Programme has been designed in close collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan and aims to improve the welfare of the most vulnerable groups of population. It seeks to support local communities of Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul districts in improvement of their access to basic infrastructure, including access to clean water and gas through design and implementation of community development plans.
In order to better address poverty issues, the Joint Programme will provide income generation opportunities for dekhkan farms, through introduction of improved agricultural practices and pasture management techniques, planting of new crops and tree varieties. Besides, it is planned to support entrepreneurial activities of women and youth by developing local handicrafts and tourism sites.
Apart from that, it is planned to support healthcare sector by educating primary healthcare workers in reproductive health issues, and raising awareness of youth on family planning, and HIV-prevention.
It is important to note, that the Joint Programme focuses on improvement of human security of the region`s population, which refers to creation of adequate governance systems and sound policies, as well as enhancement of economic opportunity, education, health care and environmental security, to ensure that people live fulfilled lives. In order to promote such concept across its activities the Joint Programme obtained a funding in the amount of 3.8 million USD from the UN Human Security Trust Fund.
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A news story broadcated on Karakalpak TV
Aral Sea shore Photo credit: Mukhayyo Makhmudova