12.07.2012 - UNESCO Office in Tashkent

UN Joint Programme “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster” is launched in Nukus

UN Joint Programme “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster” is launched in Nukus

June 28, 2012 – Inception meeting and presentation of the United Nations newly launched Joint Programme “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster” was held in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, and engaged national implementing partners, the representatives of regional and district authorities, community leaders, and media. The participants of the meeting discussed the main activity directions and made their recommendations for successful implementation of the Programme.

<b>June 28, 2012 – Inception meeting and presentation of the United Nations newly launched Joint Programme “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster” was held in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, and engaged national implementing partners, the representatives of regional and district authorities, community leaders, and media. The participants of the meeting discussed the main activity directions and made their recommendations for successful implementation of the Programme. </b>

The Aral Sea – located in the heart of Central Asia, once the world’s fourth largest lake, has now dried up to about 30% of its initial size. Such a dramatic environmental change has had a negative impact on the region’s economy, social sphere and livelihoods of the population. Up to date, a number of projects have been successfully implemented here by UNDP and the World Bank in close cooperation with the Government. However, the living standards of certain parts of the population, especially of the farthest located districts such as Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul, need further improvement.

During his visit in April 2010 the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the impact that the shrinking of the Aral Sea has had on the human security in the region and described it as “one of the world’s worst environmental disasters”. In fact, a decision was made to launch a UN Programme covering multiple sectors, such as income generation, healthcare and community development, that would serve to improve the welfare of the population by uniting the efforts of five UN agencies – UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and UN Volunteers.

The Joint Programme has been designed in close collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan and aims to improve the welfare of the most vulnerable groups of population. It seeks to support local communities of Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul districts in improvement of their access to basic infrastructure, including access to clean water and gas through design and implementation of community development plans. The Joint Programme will also provide income generation opportunities for dekhkan farms, through introduction of improved agricultural practices and pasture management techniques, planting of new crops and tree varieties. Besides, it is planned to support entrepreneurial activities of women and youth by developing local handicrafts and tourism sites.  

Apart from that, the Joint Programme will also focus on improvement of healthcare sector by educating primary healthcare workers in reproductive health issues, and raising awareness of youth on family planning, and HIV-prevention. In order to successfully carry out the above interventions it is key to act collectively and create synergies with field partners and authorities. Therefore, within the framework of the Programme it is planned to build capacities of regional and district authorities to enable successful implementation of improved socio-economic policies.


It is important to note, that the Joint Programme focuses on improvement of human security of the region’s population, which refers to creation of adequate governance systems and sound policies, as well as enhancement of economic opportunity, education, health care and environmental security, to ensure that people live fulfilled lives. In order to promote such concept across its activities the Joint Programme obtained a funding in the amount of 3.8 million USD from the UN Human Security Trust Fund.

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