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 13 – 22 of 22


Maximum cooperation needed to manage glacier melt in Central Asia

Two men working with specialist equipment on a glacier.

01.05.2017 - 31.07.2022

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 - 31.07.2022


CHF 1'200'000



Medical Education Reforms in Kyrgyzstan

01.05.2017 - 31.08.2021

Although health sector reforms have prioritised family medicine, the medical education system continues to prepare narrow specialists, leading to a shortage of family doctors mainly in rural areas. The Ministry of Health initiated the medical education reforms with focus on family doctors specialty at pregraduate level and compulsory postgraduate clinical practice in the regions. Phase II of the project will finalize the medical education reform implementation process with focus on postgraduate and continuous medical education.


Access to drinking water: a challenge in Tajikistan

Three children around a fountain.

01.03.2017 - 31.12.2021

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
Health
Water
Decentralisation
Infectious desease
Water supply
Health systems strengthening
Water sanitation
Public sector policy
Medical services

01.03.2017 - 31.12.2021


CHF 5'300'000



Effective management and prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

: A woman doctor examining a woman patient.

01.01.2017 - 31.03.2022

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 - 31.03.2022


CHF 4'810'000



Gendermainstreaming in SDC to support the implementation of the gender goals in the Agenda 2030 and the new message 2017-2020

01.01.2017 - 30.06.2022

Mit dem strategischen Ziel 7 in der Botschaft 2017-2020 bekräftigt die DEZA die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter als Schlüssel für Armutsreduktion und leistet einen Beitrag zur Umsetzung der Genderziele der Agenda 2030. Thematische Prioritäten sind die Geschlechtergleichstellung in fragilen Kontexten sowie die Stärkung der ökonomischen und politischen Partizipation von Frauen. Wichtigste Massnahmen sind ein strategischer Politikdialog, Investition in Wissens-management und Gender Expertise sowie Capacity Building und Qualitätssicherung für verstärkte Wirkungsorientierung.  


Central Asia : Water Accountability in Transboundary Chu and Talas River Basins

15.12.2016 - 31.12.2021

Effective water resources management requires data management capacities for proper decision-making at different scales. In this context, a modern, Multi-Level Distributed Water Information Systems is a management instrument that provides stakeholders’ gateways for judicious and sustainable water resources management. The project is aiming at introducing such a modern management information system in transboundary Chu and Talas river basins to improve water accountability and transparency.


Contribution to the Cotton Reform Multi-Donors Trust Fund of the World Bank in Uzbekistan

01.09.2015 - 30.09.2021

The World Bank led multi-donor trust fund will contribute to a sustainable cotton reform by thoroughly monitoring child and forced labour during cotton harvest, building the capacities of relevant authorities in terms of international standards and legislaion, raising awareness of the population and the stakeholders' groups involved in cotton picking. This will feed into policy dialogue with the Government and eventually eradicate this harmful practice for the rural population.


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

01.09.2014 - 31.07.2022

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 - 31.07.2022


CHF 6'000'000



Aga Khan Foundation: Integrated Health and Habitat Improvement (IHHI) Rasht Valley

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2017

Tajikistan is the poorest country of the former Soviet Union and is marked by a sluggish transition and fragility patterns. This project contributes to improving the Rasht Valley (the most neglected and fragile area of the country) population’s quality of life through better provision of and access to water and health services, as well as increased resilience against natural hazards. Moreover, it enhances professional skills and empowers the local population in planning and investing in its communities.

Object 13 – 22 of 22