Aga Khan Foundation and the European Union launch €16m programme in northwest Tajikistan to protect natural resources and improve food security

Zarafshon Valley, Tajikistan, 13 March 2023 – Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and the European Union (EU) have launched a €16 million programme to improve natural resource management and living conditions in Zarafshon Valley in Tajikistan’s mountainous northwest. Part of the EU’s Rural Development Programme, INVEST – Integrated Natural Resources Management in Zarafshon Valley for Equitable and Sustainable Development – represents the EU’s largest ever contribution to AKF’s development work in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s striking mountain environments are under threat from climate breakdown, throwing rural communities further into vulnerability. Photo: AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

Zarafshon Valley lies in the northwestern Sughd province. Like much of the country, the landscape is mountainous, and the villages are located high up in the mountains whilst the river flows much lower down in the valley. Coupled with a lack of infrastructure to connect the villages to the river, this means that access to clean and safe drinking water is an ongoing challenge. The harsh mountain terrain also makes it extremely difficult to grow crops sustainably.

Access to water is a major obstacle for remote mountain communities in Tajikistan. Connecting and constructing water pumps is essential for improving living standards. Photo: AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

Drawing on AKF’s long-standing relationships with mountain communities through its Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, as well as the targeted expertise of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), the INVEST programme will take a multi-sectoral approach to strengthen the sustainable management and protection of natural resources, boost food security and nutrition, and improve living standards. Through a partnership with a non-commercial, local cooperative, Sarob, the programme will also provide specialised agricultural support. Together, we aim to reach more than 380,000 people in Zarafshon Valley over five years.

More at Aga Khan Development Network Press Release

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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