NewsUzbekistan and Germany Joined the UN to Re-Affirm Support to the Aral Sea Trust Fund

Aral Sea news pic 17 Mar 2023

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 16 March 2023 – In the framework of its International Climate Initiative, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, a key contributor to climate-related United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Funds, has made a €700,000 contribution to the Aral Sea Trust Fund (currently known as the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan).

 As an earmarked allocation, the German contribution will serve to specifically support reducing stress on local communities caused by the deteriorating environmental situation, being the first outcome of the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan (MPHSTF) programmatic framework. 

Cognizant of the importance of addressing the climate issues associated with the Aral Sea crisis, the Governments of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Office in Uzbekistan jointly acknowledge the significance of the contribution by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through a ceremonial signing event at the Ministry of Investments, Industry, and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan on 16 March 2023 that re-affirms the three parties support to the Aral Sea Trust Fund.

Mr. Sarvar Khamidov, Deputy Minister of Investments, Industry and Trade states that the Aral Sea is a global example of the Triple Planetary Crisis, which includes climate change, nature degradation, and pollution. The Deputy Minister further notes that: “The Aral Sea crisis has far-reaching impacts on entire communities, economies, and ecosystems. It has affected the livelihoods of millions of people living in the region, with an epicentre in Karakalpakstan.” Mr. Khamidov expresses his appreciation to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for joining the family of development partners supporting the Aral Sea Trust Fund and hopes that the partnership within the Trust Fund will motivate other donors to intervene in the region with the innovative development ideas and practical actions.

German Ambassador to Uzbekistan Dr. Tilo Klinner states that: “The people and government of the Federal Republic of Germany are pleased to offer financial support needed to address the most pressing concerns of communities tied to the Aral Sea. Advancements in this priority area will benefit not just Uzbekistan’s citizens, especially women and children, but also those of other Central Asian nations and will indeed have positive impacts on a global scale. The contribution to the Aral Sea Trust Fund is furthermore an example of Germany´s new foreign climate policy, which puts climate-induced threats to human security at its centre.”   

The ecologically sustainable economic development of the Aral Sea Region, through infrastructure development, innovation promotion and regional cooperation, is an outcome the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany supports as a means of addressing climate change impacts in Central Asia. Germany recognizes that the Aral Sea crisis has been an acute challenge in western Uzbekistan, with environmental and human ramifications beyond national and regional borders. The sea’s progressive shrinking has profoundly influenced its surrounding region’s environment, economy and ecology. A direct consequence of its drying out has been dramatic climate change felt not only in Central Asia but also far beyond. 

By virtue of its contribution to the Aral Sea Trust Fund, Germany will be able to contribute to the multiplication of efforts of national and local development partners, participating UN Organizations, NGOs, CSOs and academia, in continuing to make positive changes in the lives of people of Aral Sea communities. Through joint programmes and with funding support from Germany alongside existing partners, development stakeholders in the Aral Sea Region can address food, economic, social, health and environmental challenges through the approach of ‘leaving no one behind’ - reaching vulnerable groups including children, youth, women, and the elderly.

With the additional generous support from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Aral Sea Fund has by far mobilized over USD 16 million that helped design and implement five UN Joint Programmes with a total value of about USD 9.1 million. The Joint Programmes promote the sustainable development of rural areas and implement measures to adapt to climate change, restore biodiversity on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea, and tackle challenges related to ensuring economic and food security as well as health care system strengthening in five districts of Karakalpakstan (Beruniy, Takhtakupyr, Bozatau, Kungrad and Muynak) and the city of Nukus. These programmes impacted over 240,000 beneficiaries, including youth, women and the elderly.


On health support, the UN Joint Programmes renovated perinatal centers in Nukus, Beruni and Kungrad districts. Further, there was reconstruction of water supply and sewerage systems in 20 medical institutions and 15 schools in Muynak, Kungrad, and Bozatau districts. The programmes also delivered modern IT classes in two schools.

Within the framework of climate change adaptation, the UN Joint Programmes also provided clean drinking water supply to 12,400 people in seven rural communities of Takhtakupir, Kungrad, and Bozatau districts, plus two medical institutions in the Kungrad district and two schools in the Bozatau district. In Muynak, Kungrad and Bozatau districts, 8,900 people received uninterrupted power supply through the installation of 17 sets of electrical transformers. As part of evidence-based afforestation initiatives of the Joint Programmes, the Fund supported two scientific expeditions to the dried bed of the Aral Sea to identify areas viable for afforestation. These expeditions covered 1.2 million hectares of the southern part of the sea, and also resulted in the identification of more than 30 plant species from 1,500 different locations that can be used for afforestation.

This year, the Fund supports two additional Joint Programmes with a combined value of USD 4.4 million and with the aim to promote green and innovative community resilience by empowering rural youth and women by equipping them with social innovation skills, and building a climate-resilient, people-centred primary health care system.

The United Nations in Uzbekistan recognizes that these results would not have been possible without the benevolence and generosity of our contributing partners. The United Nations family in Uzbekistan acknowledges the key support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for achieving the Aral Sea Region’s sustainable development. Ms. Consuelo Vidal, the new United Nations Resident Coordinator, ad interim, for Uzbekistan welcomes the generous gesture of Germany and states that: “The UN Country Team in Uzbekistan is grateful for its continued partnership with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. As I begin my tenure in Uzbekistan, I will seek to ensure this contribution benefits the people of Karakalpakstan through climate-related interventions. The UN family in Uzbekistan recognizes that as an earmarked contribution to a pooled fund, Germany’s support will be co-mingled with contributions from the governments of Uzbekistan, Norway, Finland, the Republic of Korea and the European Union, the Alwaleed Philanthropies, and future contributing partners, to achieve a greater impact for people affected by the Aral Sea crisis.”

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