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 diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Water resources conservation

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 Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Governance
Water
Decentralisation
Water supply
Water sanitation
Public sector policy

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021


CHF 5'300'000



Effective management and prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

: 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

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 DRR
Environmental policy

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
Governance
Conflict & fragility
Decentralisation
Public finance management
Conflict prevention

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
Water
Climate change and environment
Water diplomacy and security
Meteorological services
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020


CHF 6'000'000



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

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2019


CHF 6'157'000




Public Services Improvement

01.05.2019 - 30.04.2023

To improve people's quality of life, municipalities have to deliver efficiently and effectively services such as safe drinking water, waste collection, cultural facilities in a socially inclusive and gender responsive manner. In rural Kyrgyzstan, their capacities still need to be improved in a sustainable way. To achieve this, the project will develop the municipalities' support system which shall then provide adequate counseling and training to those municipalities not only today but also in the long run. 


Budget Support to the health SWAp in the Kyrgyz Republic

01.05.2019 - 30.04.2022

Health sector reform is a priority of the Kyrgyz Government. Considerable improvements of the health status of the population were achieved in the last years. Yet, additional efforts have to be done to improve cost-effectiveness of the health system. The Kyrgyz Government approved its Health Strategy 2030, in view to strengthen primary health care, improve the quality of services and promote public health. The project will support the implementation of the Health Strategy by providing funding and technical assistance to the Government. 


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.

Object 1 – 12 of 34