Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)

Switzerland supports regional and national water management programmes in the three Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Switzerland's support also focuses on public and health sector reforms and efforts to develop the private sector.

As former Soviet republics, the Central Asian countries – Kazakh­stan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uz­bekistan – face similar challenges such as limited basic service delivery, insufficient economic diversification and job creation, low citizen’s participation in decision mak­ing and weak accountability of public institutions. In terms of economic development, political organisa­tion, environmental or security situation, Central Asia still remains a heterogeneous region. 

Switzerland is working to ensure a peaceful, social and economic transition and helping public and private institutions to provide effective services for all. It also promotes art, music and theatre, both traditional and modern.

All Swiss activities are carried out with special consideration to good governance, gender equality and social inclusion.

Water

Water management is a central aspect of Switzerland's involvement in Central Asia. The region is coping with several challenges: Water is scarce, financial resources for new water-supply installations are missing and key water resources which are shared by different stakeholders – especially in the Fergana Valley – require regional coordination. In order to tackle water, energy, food and security-related challenges, Switzerland supports dialogue and cooperation in the region through its «Blue Diplomacy» approach. Under this approach, water resources are to be managed, protected and shared equitably among the Central Asian countries. Among other goals, Blue Diplomacy is also intended to contribute to peaceful coexistence and stability in the region. 

In addition to this regional approach, Switzerland also supports efforts undertaken in each country to improve access to drinking water in rural areas. It also supports disaster-risk reduction activities to mitigate the impact of natural disasters such as flooding, landslides and earthquakes.

Water – A vital resource under threat

Good governance

Public involvement in political processes is fundamental for the functioning of a democracy. Switzerland is supporting the efforts undertaken by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to make political institutions at all levels more inclusive and thus ensure greater and more effective involvement of citizens in reform and decision-making processes. Switzerland is also helping to achieve an efficient and effective provision of basic public services, particularly for disadvantaged population groups. Systematic efforts are being made to fight corruption, for example by demanding greater accountability from the providers of public services and by encouraging citizens to inform themselves about the workings of government authorities.

Advocacy and Good Governance

Employment and economic development

To promote job growth and economic development, Switzerland's cooperation activities will support the further development of the private sector in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This objective will be pursued in line with national economic priorities and related challenges and will also involve competitive micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The aim is to create decent jobs and achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth, which will ultimately help reduce poverty and emigration.

Private Sector Development and financial services

Basic education and vocational skills development

Health

Every human being has a fundamental right to the highest attainable standard of health.  Public health also has a direct impact on economic growth. Switzerland therefore supports health sector reforms in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with a growing emphasis on bridging gaps between policymakers and citizens in order to find solutions that meet the high demand for good quality, efficient and affordable health services that are accessible to everyone.

Health – A prerequisite for development

Approach and partners

Switzerland has supported the reforms that have been under way in Central Asia since the early 1990s and is closely coordinating its activities with the project partners involved. 

The 2017–2021 Cooperation Strategy is being jointly implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

Switzerland's key partners in Central Asia:

  • Development partners

  • Local and international NGOs

  • Multilateral organisations such as the UNDP, development banks (EBRD, ADB) and the Bretton Woods institutions

  • Civil society organisations

  • National partners

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 34

Maximum cooperation needed to manage glacier melt in Central Asia

Two men working with specialist equipment on a glacier.

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2020

How to meet the needs of Central Asia’s 68 million inhabitants for water while respecting the glaciers overlooking Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan? The SDC’s project is building on voluntary regional cooperation and rigorous scientific monitoring of the changes taking place in the glaciers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water
Water sector policy
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2020


CHF 1'200'000



Access to drinking water: a challenge in Tajikistan

Three children around a fountain.

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021

In Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia, half of the 8.5 million inhabitants do not have access to drinking water. In mountainous and rural regions, the figure reaches 80%. This situation poses a serious risk to public health. The SDC's project on 'Safe drinking water and sanitation management in Tajikistan' (SWSMT) focuses on access to drinking water and sanitation in the east of the country.

Country/region Period Budget
Tajikistan

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021


CHF 5'300'000



Non-communicable diseases: a scourge in Kyrgyzstan

: A woman doctor examining a woman patient.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases are the biggest cause of death worldwide. On an international average 60% of deaths are linked to NCDs.  This rate is often much higher in low-to-middle-income countries.  This is the case in Kyrgyzstan where cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes account for 80% of deaths

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kyrgyzstan
Health
Primary health care
Health systems strengthening
HEALTH
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021


CHF 4'810'000



Sustainable management protects people and their livelihoods in Tajikistan

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2019

Flash floods and mudslides are examples of hazards that threatens inhabitants of Muminabad district in Tajikistan. Switzerland is supporting a project to reduce the risk of natural disasters in four watersheds of the district. The project of Caritas Switzerland relies on a sustainable agriculture and livestock production with a strong involvement of local communities and authorities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Climate change and environment
Disaster Risk Reduction – Prevention
Environmental policy
HUMANITARIAN AID
DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Disaster prevention and preparedness
Environmental policy and administrative management

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2019


CHF 2'034'543



Strengthening Voice and Accountability in Kyrgyzstan

Five young girls in yellow costumes at the opening ceremony of the new kindergarten

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2020

Decentralisation is one of the priorities of the Kyrgyz government in power since 2012. In line with this, the main goal of this project is to strengthen the ability of citizens to participate in the budget process in their municipality, and to ensure that local governments use their funds adequately for public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kyrgyzstan
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Civilian peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2020


CHF 5'740'000



Blue Peace Central Asia Strengthening of the Regional Institutional Framework for Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020

In response to the explicit demand of the five Central Asian States, and building on over 20 years of cooperation in the field of water, SDC facilitates transboundary water resources cooperation consistent with the Blue Peace approach implemented in the Middle-East and at the global level through the establishment of a High Level Dialogue Platform, the promotion of sustainable water practices as well as capacity building of a new generation of water professionals and champions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Climate change and environment
Water
Water diplomacy and security
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Meteorological services
Water sector policy
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Meteorological services
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020


CHF 4'880'000



Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in the Ferghana Valley

boys washing their hands

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2019

Rural areas in Uzbekistan lack an adequate supply of clean water.  A large proportion of Uzbekistan's rural population of 10 million people suffer from diseases caused by unclean water. A project funded by the SDC is helping people in rural areas help themselves. Villagers are learning how to organise their water supply themselves.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Uzbekistan
Water
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Water sector policy
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2019


CHF 6'157'000



Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation Project

01.07.2018 - 30.06.2022

Through the support of the project 30‘000 women and men will have sustained access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in three rural districts of Tajikistan thereby contributing to their better health and wellbeing. The project further supports the development of local and national authorities’ capacities and strengthen the policy frameworks in order to enable a more effective, inclusive and sustainable delivery of safe drinking water and sanitation services to the population.


ACTED Earthquake response in Chong-Alai region

01.07.2018 - 31.03.2019

To complement and complete the efforts supported by Switzerland in the immediate aftermath of earthquakes in remote Chong-Alai region in May 2017, the project's Phase 2 will provide shelter construction assistance to the remaining vulnerable earthquake-affected households that were unable to re-build their houses. The assistance will be in the form of distribution of construction materials to the remaining affected households and provision of technical assistance on affordable and replicable earthquake-safe construction techniques.


"Bai Alai" Small Business and Income Creation in Alai and Chon-Alai

01.06.2018 - 31.05.2022

The remote Alai and Chon Alai disctricts of mountainous Southwest Kyrgyzstan are struck by a very high incidence of poverty, low levels of economic production and limited income generation opportunities. The project will increase economic inclusion of producing households by fostering development of local production in cattle, apiculture, tourism and handcraft sectors. Producers and entrepreneurs in these sectors will be linked to respective markets hence imporving their value chains. 


lntegrated Health and Habitat lmprovement in the Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Through the project the population living in one of the poorest and fragile regions of Tajikistan (Rasht Valley) will gain access to basic social services (water and health). The interventions in the selected watersheds will empower the local communities enabling their active participation in decision-making and effective management of the resources. As a result, people in the project area will adopt healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and disaster-safer behaviours.


Integrated Health and Habitat Improvement (IHHI) Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Rasht Valley is the most neglected and fragile region in Tajikistan - the poorest country of the former Soviet Union republics. The region marked by a sluggish transition and fragility patterns – remnants of the Civil War in the country. This project will improve quality of living conditions of Rasht Valley’s population by increasing access to better quality drinking water, sanitation and healthcare services, as well as strengthening resilience of communities to the impact of natural hazards.

Object 1 – 12 of 34