On February 12, U.S. Ambassador Susan M. Elliott joined USAID’s Regional Mission Director for Central Asia Jonathan Addleton to launch the United States Agency for International Development strategy for Central Asia for 2015 to 2019. Usmonali Usmonzoda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources and Jalil Pirizoda, Head of Department of Agriculture and Land Use also participated in the event, demonstrating the Tajik government’s commitment to working together to achieve the goals outlined in this new five-year commitment to Tajikistan.
With the launch of this new strategy, USAID will focus on expanding diverse and competitive trade and markets; enhancing regional cooperation on shared energy and water resources; and supporting more effective and inclusive governance institutions. USAID will help the economies of Central Asia become stronger and more resilient, with significantly increased cross-border trade, including with Afghanistan and the broader South Asia region, and increased income-generating opportunities for the poor. Secondly, USAID aims to make the shared issues of water and energy compelling reasons for cooperation, instead of sources of conflict, and achieve more effective and equitable management of these two critical trans-boundary resources. And finally, USAID will support civil society to advocate for citizens’ needs, and improve national and local government abilities to deliver high quality public services that will mitigate health threats and improve literacy.
Ambassador Elliott highlighted the 20 years of successful partnership between the U.S. and Tajikistan and emphasized that Tajikistan has a tremendous role to play in ensuring the regional prosperity and stability of Central Asia. USAID’s Regional Mission Director Jonathan Addleton noted that this new strategy ushers in a new period of engagement for the United States in Central Asia.
Since 1992, USAID has partnered with the governments and people of Tajikistan and all of Central Asia to foster prosperous, healthy, and forward looking communities. During this time, USAID invested close to $2.2 billion in the region. USAID’s Central Asia Mission maintains offices in Dushanbe, Almaty, Ashgabat, Astana, and Tashkent, and maintains close ties with USAID’s Kyrgyz Republic Mission in Bishkek. But, as Mr. Addleton emphasized in his remarks, while USAID has multiple locations, it has one purpose: to enhance regional cooperation and broad-based prosperity in Central Asia.