The Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Board of Directors has approved a $6.5 million grant as additional financing for the ongoing efforts to improve water resources management in the Panj River Basin, Tajikistan’s largest river basin, in the southern part of the country.

According to the ADB Tajikistan Resident Mission (TJRM), the additional financing will be accompanied by a $5 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to be administered by ADB.

This reportedly follows the $30 million assistance approved by ADB in October 2016, including a $5 million grant and technical assistance from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction for the project.

“The Panj River Basin is vital for Tajikistan’s economy and development, but includes some of the country’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable inhabitants,” said ADB’s Climate Change Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Nathan Rive.  “The additional support from ADB and GCF will help continue ongoing initiatives to strengthen Tajikistan’s disaster and climate change resilience in the water resources and agriculture sectors.”

The $6.5 million grant will help expand the scope of the current Water Resources Management in the Panj River Basin Project to include capacity building and institutional development of the State Agency for Hydrometeorology of Tajikistan (Hydromet).  The project will support Hydromet’s development to a sustainable, well-resourced, and reliable national agency for meteorology and hydrology, providing quality climate services for water resource management and disaster risk reduction in the communities along the Panj River Basin.

In particular, the additional financing will help address Hydromet’s key underlying institutional weaknesses. Some of the efforts include modernizing the agency’s new operations center, as well as the updating of Hydromet’s legal and organizational structure towards increased management and financial autonomy.

Apart from ADB and GCF’s grants, the Government of Tajikistan is also providing $1.3 million for the project. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2023.

ADB is celebrating 20 years of development partnership with Tajikistan in 2018. To date, ADB has approved around $1.6 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB and Tajikistan’s development partnership, which began in 1998, has restored and built the country’s new transport and energy infrastructure, supported social development, expanded agricultural production, and improved regional cooperation and trade.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.  Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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