In-depth

  Urban Search and Rescue Training Practical Sessions, COES rescuers, April 2011
Urban Search and Rescue Training Practical Sessions, COES rescuers, April 2011, Photo taken by Mr. Valijon Ranoev, UNDP DRMP

There are two desired outcomes for the projects that address issues of Crisis Prevention and Recovery:  1) decreased risk of natural and man‐made hazards to rural and urban livelihoods and infrastructure and recovery mechanisms are in place and 2) the Government is able to plan, coordinate and implement comprehensive mine action.

Towards the first outcome, UNDP will work to increase the capacity of the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CoES), as well as other government authorities and local communities in disaster risk management, and help pilot effective early recovery and national and regional early warning information and communication systems. Towards the second outcome, UNDP will support the Government to plan, coordinate, and implement mine action activities such that Tajikistan is compliant with the Ottawa Convention antipersonnel mine ban treaty (assuming Extension Request for Article 5 of APMBT is accepted).

The portfolio of Crisis Prevention and Recovery within UNDP Tajikistan includes two major directions of work: disaster risk management and mine action.

Disaster Risk Management

Tavildara district, family members of earthquake affected household, May 2012
Tavildara district, family members of earthquake affected household, May 2012, Phoho taken by Mr. Maruf Kandikov, UNDP DRMP

Tajikistan, with 93% of its territory covered with mountains is a highly disaster prone country, vulnerable to a number of natural hazards. The country is one of the most isolated in Central Asia and is characterized by severe climatic conditions (e.g. temperatures variations between +50C in low lands and -60C in mountainous areas), high ruggedness of the topography and proneness to a variety of natural hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, mudflows, floods and droughts, land erosion etc.

The most frequent natural hazards occurring in Tajikistan are avalanches and mudflows (1,333 events over the last 11 years), followed by small-scale earthquakes (228 events) and floods (151 events).  These natural hazards typically happen several times a year and their impact is local, affecting a few households, communities, villages and occasionally a larger part of a district.

Since 2003, UNDP’s Disaster Risk Management Programme has been supporting the Government of Tajikistan in reducing the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable communities by strengthening national capacity to reduce risks, prevent, coordinate, respond and recover from disasters. For over a decade, UNDP has been continuously strengthening the capacities of the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense at the national and regional levels, while building regional mechanisms for Disaster Risk Management and mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into state policy at the national and sub-national levels.

UNDP’s efforts are input into promotion, policy development, planning and system development of disaster risk reduction, its integration into development and climate risk management at national and local levels. UNDP’s goal is to build capacities of the Government of Tajikistan to ensure timely and efficient reduction of risks, management, mitigation and recovery from the consequences of natural and man-made disasters, thus minimizing the impact of disasters to rural and urban Tajikistan.

Since 2003 UNDP is prominently engaged in Disaster Risk Management and Crisis Prevention in Tajikistan through its Disaster Risk Management Programme (DRMP). The programme successfully completed its two phases running from 2003 to 2006 and 2007 to 2009 respectively. Currently, the programme is running its third phase for the period of 2010 – 2015. Since its establishment, DRMP’s efforts have been growing in both value and scope. DRMP serves as UNDP’s primary mechanism for responding to disasters in Tajikistan. To this end, DRMP, in its capacity of REACT Secretariat is placed in the centre of humanitarian coordinating arrangements in the country, forming strategic cooperation partnership with the main national DRM actor – Committee of Emergencies (Chair of REACT together with the UN Resident Coordinator). Throughout 10 years of its existence, DRMP supported capacity building of the CoES, inter alias helping to establish the Information Management and Analytical Centre under CoES, National DRM Training System, enhanced response capacities of the Search and Rescuers and worked on harmonization of the legal and institutional frameworks (e.g. supported the development of the National Disaster Risk Management Strategy 2010 – 2015, approved by the Government in 2010, establishment of the National Platform for DRR in March 2012 and others).

The focus of the programme for the remaining period of the running phase is to ensure reduced loss of lives following disasters and increase of social wellbeing of the population towards natural and man-made disasters at national and local levels with cross cutting issues such as gender mainstreaming, human rights and others. The main areas of intervention for this include, but are not limited to:

  • Integration of disaster risk reduction into development efforts through strengthening the capacities of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and other state and non- state actors in the field of Disaster Risk Management in Tajikistan;
  • Strengthening the capacities of the Government to identify and reduce potential disaster risks through integration of Risk Assessment and Disaster Risk Reduction into development programmes at national and local levels;
  • Building capacities of the Government to timely and effectively recover from the impact of natural disasters;
  • Strengthening the capacities of the Government to monitor the risks and ensure early warning of potential humanitarian and natural crisis in Tajikistan;
  • Strengthening the capacities of the Government and REACT partners on climate risk management through innovative energy efficiency technologies;
  • Timely and efficient coordination of disaster risk management through REACT;
  • Implementation of disaster risk reduction and climate risk management interventions at national and local levels.

Mine Action

Mine Detecting Dogs in Tajik Afghan Border
Mine Detecting Dogs in Tajik Afghan Border, Photo by TMAC

The landmines and Explosive Remnants (ERW) problem in Tajikistan began in 1992 and is still causing problems to local inhabitants and has a high socio-economic impact in effected regions such as the Central Region, Tajik-Afghan and Tajik-Uzbek border areas. Based on the available data 846 people were involved in landmines/ERW accidents with 478 injuries and 368 deaths since 1992.  

Tajikistan is a State Party to the Ottawa Convention and comprehensive, internationally supported mine action programme began in the country during the second half of 2003. UNDP was the main long-term supporter of the Tajikistan Mine Action Centre (TMAC). UNDP/TMAC provides leadership in management, coordination, accreditation, planning and tasking, quality management, information management as well as monitoring and evaluation of all components (Mine Risk Education, Victim Assistance, Land Release, stockpile destruction and advocacy) of mine action programme in country.

In aspects of land release, TMAC has been working mainly with three implementing partners. They are FSD, NPA, and UST. TMAC also cooperates with national entities such as MoD, CoES, MoI, The State Border Committee, National Guards and others. Since the beginning of the programme 85% of all known suspected and contaminated land was released, more than 100 minefields were handed over to local government. About 40,000 landmines and ERW were identified and destroyed. 7.5 km2 of land still remains contaminated.

The Mine Risk Education Programme with involvement of RCST, ICRC, MoE and local government made significant progress in raising awareness among the population living in effected regions. On annual bases, around 75,000 people in 25 mine-affected districts are reached with MRE messages. Since beginning of the programme more than 800,000 people were reached by Mine Risk Education, raising awareness for landmines and ERW. The MRE Volunteer’s network was expanded in the effected districts, which resulted in significantly decreasing the number of accidents. Safe play areas were constructed in the most affected communities. In addition, MRE trainings were provided to border guards, teachers, governmental representatives and mass media staff as well as a special emphasis was given to gender equality issues in mine action which is successfully progressing now.

Victim assistance (VA) services have been made available to mine accidents survivors and their families through services provided by the UNDP, civil society organizations, the RCST and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MoLSP). TMAC VA programme was involved in carrying out the following activities in 2012:

  • Capacity building support to new established NGOs of survivors was provided (consultant, training, equipment, workshops and round tables, participation in the MBT intercessional meetings),
  • first International Rehabilitation Camp for 50 landmine/ERW survivors was organized in cooperation with Society of PWDs “Imkoniyat”,
  • small Grants for Income Generation projects provided for 50% survivors and families of persons killed by landmines/ERW; one ERW survivor was provided by computer with individual donor’s support,
  • advocacy round tables and events in favour to join to CRPD were organized in cooperation with Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population (MLSPP),
  • regional cooperation project with Afghanistan on psycho-social rehabilitation was established and joint Plan of Action was developed,
  • Capacity building to National Research Institute for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, information on landmine/UXO casualties has been gathered in cooperation with partners.