Anniversaries have to be celebrated. This is particularly true if successful work and unresting commitment which is dedicated to fight poverty and hunger in Tajikistan mark the 20th anniversary.
As one of the first international organizations, Welthungerhilfe began to provide emergency aid in Tajikistan in the midst of the Civil War in 1994. When the country’s political situation gradually stabilized, Welthungerhilfe shifted towards development cooperation, providing innovative approaches and working closely with the population and national and international partners, in order to accompany the population in the long run on their way towards food sovereignty.
On the occasion of our 20 years lasting commitment in Tajikistan, Welthungerhilfe received numerous guests in the Serena Hotel in Dushanbe on 24th of October. Together with national and international partners and partner NGOs, representatives of the Government of Tajikistan and the EU, international donor institutions and our colleagues we did not only look back to shared experiences by presenting a photo exhibition and a short video. The reception also provided the opportunity to express our gratitude for the fruitful cooperation in the past years.
In 20 years, Welthungerhilfe in Tajikistan implemented more than 90 projects, providing funding of almost 80 Million Euro.
We worked in 28 districts in Khatlon, the Regions of Republic Subordination and Sughd, covering 40 % of the country’s territory and reaching more than 3 Million people. The first years of our work in Tajikistan have been marked by the Civil War, spending more than 42 Million Euro in the field of Emergency Relief, Food Aid and Rehabilitation.
Since the turn of the century and in the context of steady political stabilization, Welthungerhilfe broadened its spectrum of intervention. Since then, more than 1 Million people living in rural Tajikistan have benefited from our activities in the field of Food Aid shifting towards Food and Nutrition Security. Sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security as well as the Rehabilitation after Natural Disasters and Disaster Risk Management, have become main concerns of Welthungerhilfe’s intervention among others. For several years now, we also work in the field of Natural Resource Management, having reached 120.000 beneficiaries in 270 villages. In the field of Household Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, we helped 15.000 households in more than 200 villages to improve their heating and cooking facilities and thereby to save their incomes and protect natural resources. In seven years, our beneficiaries have modified over 10.000 traditional cooking stoves, saving thereby approximately 260 GWh per year. Additionally, Welthungerhilfe helped to install almost 900 bred baking ovens, which are used by several families.
Ever since Welthungerhilfe’s intervention in Tajikistan, the participatory approach, which aims at empowering and mobilizing communities as well as promoting self-initiatives, has become one of our principles action. Thereby, sustainable development is our guidance. To achieve sustainability our projects follow a cross-linked approach, emphasizing inclusive and holistic projects, which cover a range of activities in different areas of intervention. For almost ten years now, Welthungerhilfe aims at strengthening the civil society in Tajikistan. Since then, the cooperation with local partner organisations is one of our main concerns.
Next event to celebrate 20 years Welthungerhilfe will be: a food, arts and crafts fair on November 22nd. Our idea is not just presenting our project activities, but to expose and sell the products produced within the IE-projects. Additionally, our partner organizations and Alliance2015-partners present their products, too. Young artists will expose their work and a Tajik music group will entertain us. This is the plan so far. So, there are some things to come!
Text/photos: by Jens Steuernagel and Katharina Hartl. Katharin is an intern at Dushanbe office, working in particular for PR and event management.
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