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News: February 2007

COMPREHENSIVE DROUGHT STRATEGIES EXAMINED FOR CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA IN NEW WORLD BANK REPORT

Drought-susceptible countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia must establish National Drought Plans that are well integrated into other disaster-management plans, stresses a new World Bank report.

Drought Management and Mitigation Assessment for Central Asia and the Caucasus: Regional and Country Profiles and Strategies is the result of research and consultations conducted in eight countries over the past two years.

The report was prompted by a severe and prolonged drought in the region in 2000-2001, as well as the knowledge that exposure to drought will only increase in Central Asia, and with people in all eight countries vulnerable to drought conditions due to lack of careful planning and poverty. Thus far, disaster-management agencies have not adequately addressed the severity of long-term drought impacts, focusing instead on more immediate disasters.

"Strategies for addressing drought should be based upon sound planning and coordination, improved observation, and early warning," stressed the then-Task Team Leader T. V. Sampath, "as well as reducing the vulnerability of the economy and society, and comprehensive disaster management."

The Canadian International Development Agency, under the Canada Climate Change Development Fund, supported the World Bank's research and publication of the report. In 2005-2006, a team of consultants examined in-depth each country's exposure and vulnerability to drought in sub-regional and country drought profiles and strategies. The results of these assessments were incorporated into Draft National Drought Plans for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. On the heels of these assessments, the World Bank held sub-regional conferences in Tbilisi for the Caucasus countries and in Tashkent for the Central Asian Countries during mid-2006.

Source: UzReport, 22.02.2007

TAJIKISTAN INTENDS TO HAVE TALKS WITH AMERICAN INVESTORS ON FINISHING CONSTRUCTION OF ROGUN HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION

Tajikistan intends to engage partners – investors for fimishing construction of the Rogun Hydroelectric Power Station. At present time, talks are held on the subject with a number of US companies, Tajik Finance Minister Safarali Najmuddinov told reporters after a ceremony of signing a loan agreement on a regional energy project between Tajikistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a REGNUM correspondent reports.

Safarali Najmuddinov told reporters that at present time a Tajik governmental delegation is on visit in the USA. The delegation is expected to have talks with American investors concerning, apart from discussion of financing of the Sangtudin hydropower station, talks on attracting money for completing construction of the Rogun hydropower station. The minister said participation of AES Corp. (USA) in the project is not ruled out.

Source: REGNUM, 22.02.2007