The last seventh meeting of the Steering Committee of the “Livelihoods Improvement in Tajik-Afghan Cross-Border Areas (LITACA)” Project took place at UNDP Dushanbe Office on November 24.

The event was chaired by UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Pratibha Mehta and attended by the Steering Committee members, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, Mr. Tojiddin Jurazoda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tajikistan, Mr. Hajime Kitaoka and other representatives of JICA and UNDP.

According to JICA Office in Dushanbe, the LITACA Project is funded by the Government of Japan through JICA with amount of approximately 9.5 million USD and implemented by UNDP Tajikistan in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan and UNDP Afghanistan in cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development of Afghanistan.

The purpose of the project is reportedly in promoting stability and security in the districts of the Khatlon province of Tajikistan and Kunduz and Takhar provinces of Afghanistan through improving livelihoods and resilience of communities in the bordering areas.

Within the framework of the project (March 2014- December 2017), 20 water supply facilities, sanitation and irrigation facilities, 10 schools, 20 primary health care facilities, 2 small hydro power plants and other facilities, workshops were constructed in Tajikistan.

To further support livelihoods improvement in cross-border areas, on November 27, 2017, the Exchange of Notes for “Livelihoods Improvement in Tajik-Afghan Cross-Border Areas (Phase 2)” was signed between the Embassy of Japan and UNDP in Afghanistan and the Grant Agreement was signed by UNDP and JICA in Kabul, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The second phase of the project aims to focus on job creation and encouraging small business activities through economic infrastructure development and promotion of agro-business, as well as seeking possibilities of cross-border trade between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

The total amount of the project is approximately 10 million USD, 40% of which will be allocated for Tajikistan and 60% for Afghanistan accordingly.  The Project implementation will commence in January 2018 for 3 years.

JICA began its technical cooperation with Tajikistan in 1993 by inviting Tajik officials to gain knowledge and experience on governance and macroeconomics development.  At the end of March 2016, the total number of participants to JICA’s Knowledge Co-Creation Programs, formerly called the Training Programs, has exceeded 2000 people.  JICA Office was established in 2006, and since then various Grant Financial Assistance and Technical Cooperation projects have been implemented more dynamically, aiming at improving living standard of Tajik people for the sectors such as agriculture and rural development, water supply, health, transport, energy, capacity building etc.  JICA’s cumulative investment in all sectors amounted as 82.06 million USD Technical Cooperation and 259.15 million USD for Grant Assistance with 32 (on-going and implemented) projects.