On June 17, 2022, the Government of Switzerland and the Aga Khan Development Network Agencies (AKDN) hosted the final Steering Committee Meeting of the Integrated Health and Habitat Improvement Project, Phase II (IHHI- II) in Rasht Valley.  The AKDN Resident Office in Tajikistan says the Local Development Committee under the President of  Tajikistan chaired the meeting.  

Rasht Valley is located in the northeastern part of Tajikistan – a region prone to natural disasters aggravated by climate change.  Less than 45% of the local communities have access to safe drinking water; hygiene and sanitation conditions are below standards in most of the places.

The IHHI- II project financed through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aimed to enable communities in the Rasht Valley to benefit from basic public services in a peaceful and equitable society to improve their quality of life.  The project activities have been executed in seven districts of Rasht benefitting an estimated 120,000 people living in around 140 villages.

As the project is ending this month, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the achievements and learnings of the project.  During the meeting, the local government appreciated the role of the Swiss Government and the AKDN agencies in addressing the impacts of climate change and promoting socioeconomic development in the Rasht Valley.

The SDC emphasized on its continued commitment to work for the wellbeing of communities in Tajikistan and noted that the IHHI II project has contributed towards the shared developmental priorities of the Government of Switzerland and the Government of Tajikistan.  The Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan, Mr. Richard Chenevard noted: “It is utmost important after project completion to sustain the project achievements and ensure effective operation and maintenance of the various critical infrastructure and equipment, provided by the project handed over to the state partners and communities”

AKDN appreciated the role of Government of Tajikistan, Government of Switzerland (SDC) as donor, all public private, civil society stakeholders who contributed towards the successful implementation of the IHHI II project.  AKDN also stressed on its commitment to continue joint affords to work for the prosperity and wellbeing of communities in Tajikistan and Rasht Valley through its integrated developmental programs.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) represents the AKDN Consortium in interactions with the Government of Switzerland funded projects in Tajikistan.  AKF brings together human, financial, and technical resources to address the challenges faced by the poorest and most marginalized communities in the world.  Special emphasis is placed on investing in human potential, expanding opportunity and improving the overall quality of life.

The Swiss  Cooperation Office in Tajikistan represents the Swiss Government in Tajikistan and supervises Swiss projects implemented in Tajikistan funded by two Swiss Federal Agencies – the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Switzerland supports Tajikistan in its economic, social and political transitions.  The objective of its Cooperation Program is to promote peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions and a sustainable development to improve the well-being of the population.