Border management in Central Asia

border guards patroling
The UNDP-EU partnership helps to build the capacities of border guards with the help of training and exposure to best practices. Photo: BOMCA

In Central Asia, effective border control is important for security reasons. Effective border management also promotes legitimate trade and transit.

The Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) is one of the largest EU-UNDP assistance programmes in Central Asia. It is a complex, multifaceted programme, assisting five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

BOMCA has supported the construction and equipping of:

  • 52 border crossing points;
  • 6 training centers for border guards and 4 dormitories for training centers;
  • 4 dog-training centers and 3 veterinary units;
  • 14 drug profiling units.
  • Also, over 2500 border-force and border-customs officers were trained and participated in study tours.

BOMCA's main strategy is to promote the stability and security of Central Asian states through integrated border management and regional cooperation. The programme aims to contribute toward the facilitation of legitimate trade and transit; and to reduce the illicit movement of goods and people.

The underlying strategy of BOMCA is to bring about institutional reform by gradual change through the training and exposure of Central Asian border and customs leadership to European best practices in border management. The main component of BOMCA is capacity development for integrated border management. The partnership also assists with equipment and infrastructure and with modernization and upgrading of training facilities.

BOMCA is also supporting countries in Central Asia in their pursuit of regional economic development and trade facilitation with neighboring countries and between Central Asia and the EU member states.

The programme is a good example of strong partnerships not only with respective government institutions, but also amongst international donors.

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