The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Tajikistan today signed an agreement for a project that will improve access of isolated rural communities in eastern Tajikistan to strengthened health services, ADB Country Office in Tajikistan said.
The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) is providing a $2.5 million grant to be managed by ADB for the Improved Maternal and Child Health through Connectivity project, which is scheduled to run for three years through 2016. The Government of Tajikistan and local communities will contribute around $430,000.
The project will rehabilitate a flood-damaged 66-meter bridge over the Sarbog River and 18-kilometers of road linking five jamoats in the Rasht District with the district center, and establish a decentralized community-based infrastructure maintenance mechanism to ensure sustainability.
The rehabilitated bridge and road will improve access to social services, especially health-care facilities for around 40,000 villagers.
The project will also strengthen capacity of rural health centers in the targeted jamoats; train health workers in obstetric, infant care and integrated management of childhood illnesses; establish a referral and emergency transportation system in Navobod hospital that provides services to all five jamoats; and carry out public awareness campaigns on nutrition and hygiene among project beneficiaries.
“ADB has had a very good experience in utilizing innovative and well-targeted JFPR money in Tajikistan,” said C.C. Yu, ADB’s Country Director for Tajikistan. “We expect this project will also bring huge benefits to improve people’s lives, particularly children and women, and facilitate economic development.”
The Ministry of Transport is the executing agency for the project, but it will coordinate the implementation of the health component with the Ministry of Health and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
JFPR is a grant facility established by the Japanese Government and ADB in May 2000. JFPR assists ADB clients to provide direct relief to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society while building up their capacities for self-help and income generation.
Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and to date, the institution has approved total assistance of around $970 million in concessional loans, grants and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s operations benefit the population by reducing isolation, increasing communication, broadening access to electricity, improving social services, and creating more income-generating opportunities.