The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$1.3 million transaction technical assistance grant to enhance climate resilience in the Panj river basin in Tajikistan, according to the ADB Tajikistan Resident Mission (TJRM).

Climate change and natural hazards are among key challenges for Tajikistan’s agriculture sector.  Climate change models suggest a significant rise in the annual probability of droughts in the country, increasing from 3% to over 25% till mid-century.  Droughts, in combination with heat stress and increased water demand for key crops, will reduce agricultural yields and thus deteriorate the already fragile food and nutrition security situation.

In line with the national priorities and building on ADB’s ongoing activities, the technical assistance grant will support strategic investment planning in the Panj river basin.  It will undertake climate risk assessments and vulnerability mapping and will assist the government in preparing climate adaptation investment projects in the agriculture, natural resources, and rural development sector.

ADB has been active in the Panj river basin in Tajikistan since 2007 and has strengthened climate resilience of irrigation and water supply infrastructure, enabled the Agency for Hydrometeorology (Hydromet) to produce timely and accurate forecasting of weather events, and developed the Panj River basin management plan.  The technical assistance grant will augment the river basin management plan by adding climate risk considerations and by identifying opportunities for downscaling climate impact on local level.  This will support future planning, development, and sustainable management of water resources within the basin.

Since Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, the Bank has become the country’s largest multilateral development partner with more than US$2.2 billion in assistance, including over US$1.7 billion in grants.  ADB’s 2021-2025 country partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on three strategic priorities: structural reforms to enhance resource allocation and mobilization; improving labor productivity through human capital development; and fostering better livelihoods by investing in the land-linked economy.