Dushanbe, Tajikistan, August 17, 2022 – On August 16-17, U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim visited Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshon (GBAO) region. Ambassador Pommersheim attended the Pamir Investment Forum in Khorugh at the invitation of the Tajik government and met with Governor Alisher Mirzonabot to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation. While in GBAO, Ambassador Pommersheim visited U.S. assistance programs that create jobs and promote economic development, including the U.S.-supported Sebzor hydro-power plant that will provide power to over 600,000 people; American Space Khorugh, which provides education programs to over 10,000 people each year; and the Pamir Tech Park, where over 100 young people perform remote work for U.S. companies. During his visit, Ambassador Pommersheim noted that assistance programs alone cannot create economic growth. To meet Tajikistan’s development goals in Gorno-Badakhshon, an unimpeded entrepreneurial sector, an active civil society, respect for human rights and rule of law, reliable internet, and independent media are also vital. To harness innovation, young people need to know they can contribute their ideas for the future, including through social media, without fear. During his visit, the Ambassador concluded, “The U.S. Embassy is proud to support economic development that helps advance prosperity and opportunities for all Tajik citizens. Over the last 30 years, the United States and Tajikistan have worked side by side to overcome challenges together. We continue to do so today, as we work with Tajik partners to build a future of opportunity for all people in this beautiful and diverse country.”
Fact Sheet on U.S. Assistance to Gorno-Badakhshon Autonomous Region (GBAO)
Energy and Power Assistance
- USAID and the Aga Khan Foundation partnered to invest over $1.6 million for a 450-kW hydropower plant serving 2,051 people in Roshorv village of Rushon district.
- Over $3 million for feasibility study and development of Sebzor 11MW hydro-power plant. Will serve over 225,000 people in Tajikistan and nearly half a million people in Afghanistan (688,000 total)
- American Space Khorugh provides English-language, technology, and vocational training programs to over 10,000 visitors per year.
- Over 200 GBAO students have attended English language access micro-scholarship programs for underserved youth.
- Over $640,000 in financial support to GBAO civil society organizations through the U.S. Embassy Democracy Commission.
- Scholarships for 38 students to study at the University of Central Asia.
- Placement of American Fulbright Scholars and English Teaching Assistants at the University of Central Asia and local institutions.
- In partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, over $200,000 to construct a drinking water supply system and school sanitation facility serving over 400 people in Medon/Savir villages of Roshtqala district.
- In 2022, an additional $200,000 will be invested into the drinking water supply system in Pasor and Bopasor villages of Rushon district.
Jobs Creation and Skills-Buildings:
- In partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, over $500,000 invested in establishing an Electrician Training Lab in Khorugh.
- Over $360,000 invested in small and medium business development in energy, early childhood development, tourism, and IT sectors (61 jobs), with $120,000 more to be invested in 2023.
- Over $50,000 in start-up funding for the Pamir Tech Park – the first such ‘tech park’ in GBAO. The Pamir Tech Park has generated employment for a total of 100 individuals with the aspiration of 200 jobs total by the end of 2022, 300 jobs in 2023, 400 jobs in 2024, 500 jobs in 2025.
- In partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, nearly $1 million to scale up the construction of small and large-scale commercial greenhouses, increase production of vegetables by 3-8 times, and create nearly 200 jobs by 2024.
- Nearly $330,000 to construct/rehabilitee four big irrigation systems and 10 small irrigation canals in Darvoz, Ishkoshim, Roshtqala, Rushon, and Shughnon, serving over 3,700 smallholder farmers.
- Over 125,000 to construct seven storage facilities in Ishkoshim, Roshtqala, Rushon, Shugnon, and Vanj, serving over 620 smallholder farmers.
- In partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, $1,650,000 in COVID-19 response initiatives, including improving food security; prevention, treatment, and containment measures; provision of essential medical supplies and equipment to hospitals; establishment of telemedicine rooms in hospitals, covering and benefiting communities and hospitals in all districts of GBAO.
- $300,000 “Patrol Planning and Leadership” project implemented by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including five Tactical Patrolling training courses for the Tajik Border Forces along the Tajik-Afghan border
- $955,000 “Border Guard Capacity Building Training” project, implemented by UNODC, providing counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and information analytics training courses for the Tajik Border Forces along the Tajik-Afghan border
- $900,000 “Border Management Capacity Building” project, building seven watch towers, renovating and upgrading six border checkpoints between Ishkoshim and Darvoz, and renovating Border Forces’ K-9 kennels in Khorugh
- $40,000 for Drug Demand Reduction projects
- Donations to Border Guards including Toyota Hi-Lux 4×4 double cab trucks and Polaris ATVs.
- Donations to customs officials including non-intrusive inspection equipment. Training to customs officials to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction and Improvised Explosive Devices.