Projects supported by the European Union in Central Asia have had a significant impact in helping communities to be better prepared for natural disasters.

According to the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan, the European Union's Disaster Preparedness Programme (DipECHO) has invested €46 million in over 100 projects across the region, supporting both the population and the governments of the region in preparing for and mitigating the consequences of natural disasters since 2003. The countries that have benefited are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.


Key achievements:

1.         Encouraged local authorities and central governments to promote the integration of disaster risk reduction into policy, budgets and legislation;

2.         Helped vulnerable communities in high risk areas gain expertise in disaster risk reduction;

3.         Trained thousands of school children and teachers to be prepared to deal with disaster situations;

4.         Equipped and funded the modernization of schools to better withstand natural hazards;

5.         Helped communities to set up disaster risk reduction (DRR) committees.


Having delivered on its objectives through DipECHO - namely to support local communities in better preparing for and coping with recurring natural disasters; to promote the evolution of sustainable national DRR strategies in the five Central Asian countries; and to encourage regional co-operation and knowledge sharing – EU support for disaster preparedness will from now onwards be channeled through development funding instruments. These will be defined in coordination with the respective governments in the region and will build on the experience and knowledge amassed from the DipECHO program.

The European Commission, through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department provides relief assistance to over 120 million victims of conflicts and natural disasters every year.

Launched in 1996, the Disaster Preparedness Programme (DipECHO) is the core element of the European Commission's Disaster Risk Reduction global efforts.  The key goal of the program is to increase communities' resilience and reduce their vulnerability.  DipECHO is a people-oriented program, helping communities at risk of disasters to better prepare themselves by undertaking training, establishing or improving local early warning systems and contingency planning. It also encourages citizens, civil society groups and local, regional and national authorities to work more effectively together, and advocates for the integration of DRR efforts into development aid in order to ensure sustainable policies, particularly in countries at high risk.