Washington, November 29, 2012 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$45.9 million grant for the Second Tajikistan Public Employment for Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources Management Project. Over 770,000 people residing in twelve districts of the southern Khatlon region of Tajikistan will benefit from temporary public employment opportunities and rehabilitation of important irrigation and drainage infrastructure.
The new project is being financed through a US$18 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and a US$ 27.9 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Multi-Donor Trust Fund Program. This financing will allow scaling up of a successfully completed first project, which benefitted over 43,000 households through income transfers and improved access to irrigation.
“I am glad to see this project expanding and covering new districts of Tajikistan as food security is essential for the well-being of children and adults everywhere,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “By providing temporary employment opportunities we intend to help rural households not only earn additional income, but improve access to irrigation so they could get higher crop yields from their land in many years to come.”
The project aims to directly benefit an estimated 22,000 people through the provision of temporary work. The rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure will improve access to irrigation for about 190,000 hectares of land to the benefit of 750,000 rural residents. A 10 percent increase in crop yields is expected as a result of the project. The project will also support ongoing institutional and policy reform in water resource management. Around 20 new Water User Associations (WUA) will be established and capacity building will be provided to these and existing 33 WUAs in project areas.
The original project, financed through the European Union Food Crises Rapid Response Facility, in the amount of US$ 10.01 million was launched in 2010. The project helped employ 10,590 people in five vulnerable districts of Khatlon region, namely Farkhor, Qumsangir, Qabodyon, Shartuz and Vakhsh. Each person generated a net income of US$ 230, while improving access to 44,276 hectares of irrigated arable land. These resulted in at least 5 percent increase of agricultural production of rice, vegetables, potatoes, and wheat in targeted districts.
The active portfolio of the World Bank in Tajikistan currently consists of 16 projects with a net commitment of around US$ 275 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in agriculture and rural development (27 percent), followed by energy (24 percent), water and sanitation (18 percent), human development – education, health and social protection (24 percent), the private sector (4 percent) and the public sector (2 percent).