The UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust for the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan showcases results to and appreciates the support of the EU
30 April 2022
The Delegation of the European Union in Uzbekistan (EU Delegation) held a three-day mission to Karakalpakstan on 28-30 April, 2022. The visit underscores the EU’s support for development initiatives in the Aral Sea region.
On 30 April, the EU Delegation visited one of the many project sites of the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust for the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan (MPHSTF). The UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan. Ms. Roli Asthana, and Government representatives accompanied the Ambassadors in their visit to the MPHSTF-funded UNDP/UNESCO Joint Programme Forestry Department of the Takhtakupir district. The project in these sites sought to address the urgent human insecurities in the Aral Sea region through promoting sustainable rural development.
The Head of the Takhtakupir State Forestry Department briefly underscored that the benefits of the forestry activities funded by the MPHSTF included enhancement of the technical capacity of Takhtakupir Forestry Department as well as increasing the volume of afforestation work in the dried bed of the Aral Sea. Enhanced technical capacity helped to lant saxaul and other species on 3000 hectares of land which is six times more than it was before project interventions. The afforestation resulted in more income for the workers of the Forestry Department. The professional skills of over 100 employees from 16 departments of the State Forestry were enhanced through the trainings on “innovative methods of afforestation.”
Ms. Roli Asthana, UN Resident Coordinator, said: “The Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund’s activities in Takhtakupir’s five communities are not only testaments of UN’s commitment to the people of the Aral Sea, but also a clear messaging to the world on the readiness of UN’s partners such as the European Union and the Government of Finland, together with the Governments of Uzbekistan, Norway, and the Republic of Korea, as well as the Alwaleed Philanthropies, to ensure that no one is left behind in Karakalpakstan amidst the ongoing crises brought by the Aral Sea catastrophe.”
The UN in Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade co-hosted an “Appreciation Dinner” for the EU Delegation. Mr. Badriddin Abidov, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, expressed hope for a much stronger and closer partnership with the European Union within the Trust Fund. Mr. Abidov further stated that “undoubtedly, the impacts made in the communities of Karakalpakstan - building the resilience of the local communities and the sustainable development of the Aral Sea region at large - would not have been possible without the support of partners such as the European Union.
The MPHSTF, established under the auspices of the United Nations in late 2018, provides an integrated platform for national and international cooperation to address the ecological and socio-economic needs of communities living in the Aral Sea region, as well as to accelerate joint efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
On May 29, 2020, the Government of Finland and the UN MPTF Office in New York (Administrator of the Trust Fund) signed the Standard Administrative Arrangement on the contribution of EURO 1 million to the UN Multi-partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region (MPHSTF). On June 19, 2020, the Government of Finland has transferred EURO 1 million to the MPHSTF.
On February 2020, the Contribution Agreement was signed between the European Union and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office on the contribution of EURO 5.2 million to the MPHSTF. On March 2020, the European Union has transferred USD 5.5 million to the MPHSTF.