FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Tajikistan

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Performance Report Highlights: Tajikistan

FY 2010 Foreign Assistance Goals

Tajikistan occupies a strategic position in the heart of Asia, bordering Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Food insecurity, energy shortages and the inability of the government to provide adequate services to its citizens hamper the country’s progress. U.S. Government (USG) assistance supports the development of Tajikistan’s health and education systems, agriculture sector, governance, and security so that it can be a stable, prosperous partner in the region.

Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $57.97 million*

Date: 2011 Description: Tajikistan -- Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance:  $57.97 million. - State Dept Image

(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2010, not including centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries. Humanitarian Assistance total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $42.30 million in FY 2010.)

Highlights of FY 2010 Performance by Area of Focus

Peace and Security

-- The USG provided border enforcement and nonproliferation training to Tajik Government (GOT) officials. It also renovated the Tajik Customs Training Academy and completed renovation of the Border Guard Academy. In addition, the USG completed the renovation and the equipping of the Nuclear Radiation Safety Agency (NRSA) calibration laboratory, giving it an enhanced ability to identify suspect materials and to calibrate radiation detection equipment.

-- The USG provided 22 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to the Tajik Border Guards. USG assistance also continued renovating border outposts on the Afghan border, outfitting them with solar and wind-energy technology, which will provide free and reliable energy for those living at and operating the posts.

-- USG security assistance resulted in the successful graduation of ten students from U.S. military courses. The USG also provided English language instruction to 30 Tajik military officers.

-- The USG provided a demining machine to the Ministry of Defense to help Tajikistan meet its Ottawa Treaty obligations and to help increase access to its porous border regions that are designated hazardous areas for mines and unexploded ordinance (UXO). The demining machine was used to clear over 300 square kilometers of rural farmland that was previously fallow because of the mine and UXO threats.

-- The USG provided funding for the basic operations of the Tajik Drug Control Agency (DCA), including placement of two Tajik liaison officers stationed in Northern Afghanistan. Information developed by these officers helped the DCA develop several cases and seize several cargoes of transiting drugs.

-- USG assistance supported Tajik law enforcement’s implementation of its trafficking in persons (TIP) law. USG implementers encouraged periodic national dialogues between government agencies, civil society, and international organizations, which led to the establishment of a working group within the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Combating Trafficking in Persons (IMCCT) to develop a comprehensive program on combating human trafficking in Tajikistan for 2011 through 2015. Through local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the USG conducted over 400 events (trainings, workshops, and seminars) to raise awareness about TIP with over 26,000 people participating. In addition, USG-supported hotlines received over 3,500 telephone calls. Working with a network of local NGOs, the USG also provided a range of counseling and other services to 30 trafficking victims, helping them to reintegrate into society.

-- Following a decree by the President of Tajikistan prohibiting the use of child labor for the cotton harvest, USG-supported NGO monitoring confirmed that the use of child labor decreased, finding only a small number of isolated incidents. In the one substantive case that was identified, monitors informed local authorities, who immediately responded and took corrective action.

Governing Justly and Democratically

-- Despite the difficult operating environment in FY 2010, the USG contributed to three significant improvements for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These included regulations on tender commissions for the award of social contracts that support the development of NGOs that focus on important social problems. The changes provide that at least 30% of the members of tender commissions must be independent external experts proposed by the NGOs themselves. The USG also provided substantial technical assistance in the development of the structure and the adoption of internal regulations for the ombudsman institution, resulting in approximately 550 NGOs receiving electronic and published updates on national legislation and other material on international law, best practices and NGO operations in other countries. In addition, almost 600 consultations were provided through USG assistance to NGOs throughout the country on registration procedures, licensing, taxation, labor law, proprietary rights, activities of commercial enterprises of public associations, and donations to NGOs.

-- In support of a more independent and vibrant media environment in Tajikistan, the USG supported seven one-week trainings and technical consultations on creating high quality television programming and techniques to produce and stories. Four production grants were provided to private television stations to produce talk shows and analytical reporting in the Tajik language for rebroadcasting via a regional satellite feed to independent televisions stations in Central Asia, as well as to home-satellite viewers.

-- USG advisors assisted in the development and adoption of a resolution that will lead to de-monopolization and decentralization of the housing and communal sector. The resolution approves a framework for economic, legal and administrative reforms aimed at the development of cost-effective housing and communal services and increased efficiency, reliability, and accessibility of services. It also delegates administrative authorities, such as solid waste removal and the distribution of water, from the national to the sub-national level, as well as transfers ownership of the respective service enterprises responsible for such services to the local level.

-- A USG-funded program trained over 175 lawyers on the new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), in force as of April 2010, which introduces a number of important provisions, including the right to an attorney upon arrest, enhanced defendant access to evidence, and the transfer of the arrest warrant power from prosecutors to the judiciary. In addition to translating and widely distributing the new CPC, the program also published a book of procedural forms and court documents for the legal community and sponsored an ongoing writing competition for the publication of articles on the CPC, four of which have already been published in local newspapers. Examples of successes defense lawyers achieved in large part due to the USG-supported training include: a successful petition to have a taped conversation between the client and an investigator admitted into evidence, which revealed material evidence; access granted to video recording of a client’s interrogation which revealed that the client had been charged under the wrong statute; access to a client in police custody obtained through use of a model request distributed during training.

-- A USG-funded NGO completed a project to monitor implementation of Tajikistan’s new CPC in 96 trials in eight district courts throughout Tajikistan. The project highlighted a number of areas in which judicial practice and court administration could improve, including access to public trials and availability of information to the public about the court’s schedule of cases, compliance with the right to professional translation, and prompt delivery of summons allowing sufficient time to prepare for trial.

-- The USG facilitated exchanges for 30 local and national government officials, NGO leaders, and business leaders. The exchange programs focused on women’s crisis centers and shelters, the role of extension services in boosting agriculture, and think tank development. Inspired by their experiences, program participants started activities to share their new knowledge. For example, one program alumna conducted information campaigns in rural areas to generate advocacy and lobby for the Law on Domestic Violence Protection in Tajikistan, resulting in five workshops being held in five cities and two seminars organized for parliamentarians and working groups involved in drafting the law.

Investing in People

-- Central Asia experienced the largest polio outbreak in the world in recent years in the spring of 2010. As of September 30, 2010, Tajikistan had 705 cases of acute flaccid paralysis, of which 458 were confirmed as polio. The USG collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Tajik Ministry of Health to support the operational costs, management and organization, training of health care workers, communication/social mobilization, and monitoring and supervision of six rounds of polio immunization campaigns for children and adults. After the fourth round of immunizations, 99.5% of all children under the age of 15 in Tajikistan were immunized.

-- As a result of USG assistance, over 3,500 individuals suffering from tuberculosis (TB) were identified through direct outreach, and 249 received TB testing services.

-- With USG assistance, the GOT developed, reviewed and adopted five new training programs (primary and secondary Tajik language and math, chemistry, and biology). In addition, over 1,500 primary and secondary teachers and 100 school principals were trained with USG resources on modern teaching and learning approaches.

-- Seven Tajik students (including four women) applied for and received scholarships to attend the USG-supported American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in FY 2010. Many earlier Tajik AUCA graduates are now working in NGOs, at embassies and international organizations, as journalists, and as GOT officials.

Economic Growth

-- A total of 42 water-users’ associations supported by the USG helped farmers in managing the allocation of water and land resources and improving water infrastructure to increase productivity. Technical assistance, cost sharing, and training for the associations resulted in the doubling of net income for farmers as a result of improved water availability despite dry conditions.

-- In order to increase food production, USG technical assistance benefited over 2,500 rural households by increasing the productivity of five key crops: onions, lemons, apricots, watermelons, and beef. USG funding supported the use of improved technologies to produce these crops on 725 hectares of land.

-- USG funding provided assistance in drafting key amendments to a new land code. If adopted, these amendments will enable farmers and land users to freely sell, buy, and pledge their land use rights. These laws are critical to promote food security, freedom to farm, and increased agricultural productivity and farm profitability.

-- The National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) licensed 120 microfinance institutions, including 34 deposit-taking financial organizations. USG advisors participated in the review of the draft Law on Microfinance and are encouraging the NBT to seek feedback from the microfinance industry before introducing the final draft for presidential and parliamentary approval. US assistance also helped with to prepare and introduce a new Chart of Accounts to improve International Financial Reporting Standards compliance; the promotion of closer cooperation between the NBT and the external auditors of the banks to enhance and harmonize financial reports within the industry; and delivery of risk management training to supervisors and commercial bankers to improve the on-site inspection processes.

-- Tajikistan streamlined procedures for customs declarations and eliminated several superfluous documents required for customs clearance. Tajikistan continued to make progress on its World Trade Organization (WTO) accession process and is preparing for its 5th WTO Working Party meeting. With extensive assistance from the USG, the Tajik Government answered and clarified all 165 questions on trade regulations and practices submitted by the European Union (EU) and the United States.

-- In FY 2010, the GOT continued with some economic and legal reforms. Due to considerable reform efforts of the GOT and USG technical assistance, Tajikistan was named the sixth Top Reformer in the 2010 World Bank Doing Business Report, moving up from 149th to 139th place overall. The USG assisted with changes affecting the indicators for starting a business, protecting investors, and paying taxes. A year before, Tajikistan was named the eighth top reformer in Doing Business.

Humanitarian Assistance

-- USG assistance helped vulnerable populations in Tajikistan, including the elderly, orphans, and the disabled. USG resources leveraged significant contributions, valued at $42.29 million, from partner NGOs, distributing donated medicine, medical supplies, and non-medical assistance to them.

-- The USG funded a family medicine symposium, “Physicians with Heart,” with partner organizations Heart to Heart International and the Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. This program brought U.S. family medicine practitioners to Tajikistan to conduct a symposium for Tajik physicians. Other volunteers accompanied the doctors to Tajikistan and assisted students at Tajik boarding schools by providing them with clothing and school supplies. In conjunction with these activities, USG funds were provided to repair to two boarding schools and a medical facility.

-- Supported by USG assistance, two NGO grantees in Tajikistan conducted assessments of the needs of vulnerable groups throughout the country and then distributed aid according to the assessment priorities. These partner NGOs provide donated medical and pharmaceuticals donations, and distribute warm blankets, food, and clothing for the institutionalized or displaced people. The USG also supports pre-staged disaster packages in Tajikistan that allow for quick responses during emergencies.