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									                             Вазорати маориф
                            Чумхурии Точикистон


        Tajikistan and UNICEF launch EU-backed project
                    on disaster risk reduction
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 23 April 2009 – The Memorandum of Understanding between the
Ministry of Education, the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, and
UNICEF in Tajikistan on disaster risk reduction in education sector has been signed in
Dushanbe. The Memorandum is designed to establish co-operation and partnership for 2009
as part of the project called “Supporting disaster risk reduction among vulnerable
communities in Central Asia”.

The project is financially supported by the European Union’s Disaster Preparedness
Humanitarian Aid Department (DIPECHO). The aim of the project is to introduce the subject
on disaster risk reduction into the existing curriculum as well as to increase preparedness for
disaster at local level and in Tajik schools.

Mr Abdujabbor Rahmonov, Tajik Education Minister, Mr Haibullo Latipov, Chair of the Tajik
Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, and Ms Hongwei Gao, UNICEF
Country Representative in Tajikistan signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the
Project implementation.

Tajikistan is very prone to natural disasters. Mountainous landscape and climatic conditions
often cause floods, landslides and mudslides, and avalanches, all of which strongly impact
the lives and welfare of communities across the country.

“The impact of natural and man-made disasters falls disproportionately on children,” said
Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan. “Due to their age children have
limited knowledge and skills, life experience and physical capacity to adequately react under
stress of disaster. The project is designed to enhance skills and knowledge of children
during disaster. The Tajik Government understands that without adequate and coordinated
efforts by all stakeholders it is impossible to build a culture of safety and resilience at all
levels of society”.

As part of the project, a training course on disaster risk reduction for teachers and
schoolchildren will be developed and introduced in pilot schools in 20 target districts. Based
on this experience, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF will be looking into ways of
integrating this course in the existing teaching curricula with the goal of equipping children
with knowledge and skills on survival in disaster situations.

“The project will directly benefit more than 190 thousand people across the country.
Moreover, by building up awareness of and preparedness for disaster risk, the project will
help children survive and play an important role in saving lives of people”, added Hongwei
Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and
thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines
for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and
sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from
violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of
individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Alexander Sodiqov, UNICEF Tajikistan Communication Officer
Tel.: +992 48 701 14 89, fax: +992 48 701 14 95

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