EUROPEAN UNION ASSISTS TAJIKISTAN IN FIGHTING POLIO (04/06/2010)

Dushanbe, 04 June 2010 – The European Commission allocated 145,000 EUR to support a nation-wide vaccination campaign of children against polio.

In April Tajikistan witnessed a polio outbreak. The authorities decided to launch a country-wide vaccination campaign covering over 1.7 million children under the age of six, the age group most at risk. The campaign is being carried out between May and July with the support of the Tajikistan Red Crescent.

The European Commission provided 145,000 EUR to contribute to this massive vaccination campaign of young children. The funds have been used to support the mobilisation and training of 400 Red Crescent volunteers, the actual vaccination campaign and the parallel public awareness campaign. The aid was channelled through the Tajikistan Red Crescent who operates with funding out of The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Background

The European Commission has signed a 2 million EUR humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and the European Commission enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of 2 million EUR.

The European Union, composed of 27 Member States, is the world’s biggest aid donor. The EU has strengthened its relationship with the Central Asian countries since the adoption of "The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership" by the European Council in June 2007. The strategy strengthens relations in all areas of cooperation, including through the reinforcement of EU-Central Asia political dialogue with regular meetings of EU and Central Asian Foreign Ministers, reinforcement of dialogue on human rights, cooperation in the areas of education, rule of law, energy and transport, environment and water, common threats and challenges (including border management and combating drug trafficking), and trade and economic relations. The strategy is supported by a significant increase in EU assistance which has doubled to €750 million for 2007-2013. Tajikistan gets the main share of bilateral assistance (€66 million for 2007-2010 and 62 million for 2011-2013) in support to sector programmes, technical assistance and grants. It focuses on social protection, health and private sector development, underpinned by public finance management. Tajikistan also receives regional and thematic assistance in areas like border management and drug control (BOMCA/CADAP), education (TEMPUS, Erasmus Mundus), water / environment, migration, human rights and democracy (EIDHR), non-State actors (NSA) and SME development (CA-Invest). The total value of EU assistance disbursed to Tajikistan since 1992 is over €500 million."

For further information you may contact Ms. Mahbuba Abdullaeva in the Delegation of the European Union in Tajikistan at tel: +992 (37) 2217407 or e-mail: Mahbuba.Abdullaeva@ec.europa.eu