UN Joint Programme: "Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster"
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. The Joint Programme will also 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. The Programme will also improve the capacities of primary healthcare facilities on reproductive health issues and raise public awareness on infectious diseases through enhancement of community based volunteerism.
"Sustaining Livelihoods in the Aral Sea Region" combines the efforts of national authorities and the five UN agencies including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which will coordinate implementation of the Programme and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV).
The Joint Programme has been developed as a follow-up to the visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Uzbekistan and the Aral Sea region in April of 2010, where he called the drying up of the Aral Sea as “one of the worst manmade environmental disasters of the world”. Therefore, this Joint Programme also aims to bring greater attention to the Aral Sea region.
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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1. Income generation opportunities and economic security for vulnerable groups in the three target districts increased
2. Capacity of primary health care workers to address the health consequences of the environmental disaster and economic insecurity enhanced in ten target districts with a specific focus on addressing the needs of young people
3.Capacity of regional and 3 district authorities enhanced to develop and implement economic, environmental security and social policies aimed at welfare improvement of vulnerable groups
to develop and implement economic, environmental security and social policies aimed at welfare improvement of vulnerable groups
Achievements & expected results
• A network of agro-consultants formed to promote improved agricultural practices among rural population and manage demonstration plots in three target districts by UNDP, and additional three districts by UNESCO;
• As a result of capacity-building initiatives, dehkhan farmers (small subsistence farmers)submitted 76 business plans related to various areas of agriculture, including establishment of demonstration plots, pasture management on dry lands, livestock breeding, bee keeping and other areas;
• 100 dehkhan farmers living in buffer zone of Lower-Amudarya nature biosphere reserve were equipped with techniques of sustainable land management and ways to bring degraded land back into productive use. 31 farmers submitted business plans for financing which will help bringing the degraded land back into productive use;
• To provide access to irrigation water for 500 households (4000 people) in Kazakhdarya community and thus stimulate agricultural activity, the construction of water pump and 6km water channel is in progress;
• To promote water saving technologies, 6 sets of land laser levelling equipment were handed over to the 6 farming enterprises in Shumanay and Kanlikul districts, which allow up to 25% saving in irrigation water consumption;
• Within capacity building of primary healthcare system, 125 primary health providers have upgraded their skills in modern family planning techniques and 80 health care professionals received training on youth friendly health services. 200 young people were trained as peer educators in SRH and TB;
• 400 primary healthcare workers were trained in counselling, family planning, and legal and economic support services to vulnerable women;
• A group of 7 trainers established to provide capacity-building of local authorities;
• Regional and local government authorities received capacity-building support in MDGs, human development and human security, sustainable development, and other subjects.
• Community mobilization initiatives covered 21 communities in three target districts, which have submitted 29 community development plans, addressing various issues, including access to drinking and irrigation water, renovation and reconstruction of kindergartens and schools, renovation of rural health centres, etc. 5 project correspond with MDGs 1 and 7 on poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability, 13 projects addressing MDG 2 on universal primary education, and 6 projects are addressing MDGs 4,5 and 6;
• Piloting of alternative energy in 9 rural health centres in Muynak is in progress;
• Overall, capacity-building activities in areas of income generation, primary healthcare and governance engaged 632 people from three target districts, 49% of them are women;