Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 8September 2022 – A group of leading international donors that have funded the project for “Improving Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) in the Republic of Tajikistan are in the capital city of Dushanbe to get a first-hand account of the achievements of the project and to also discuss possible funding for future similar projects in the country through innovative funding methods.
They come under the umbrella of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) comprising the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD); the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); the IsDB’s Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD); the King Salman Humanitarian Aid, and Relief Center (KSRelief); Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The Islamic Development Bank is the trustee of the Fund and blends its ordinary capital resources with donor grants to provide concessional financing to countries.
The MNCH project is located in Four Districts of Khatlon Region” and has been implemented with a total blended funding of US$23 million comprising 65 percent ordinary financing (US$14.95 million) by IsDB and a 35 percent grant (US$8.05) by LLF.
The project has been executed by the Republic of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population (MHSP) and will result in saving the lives of the mothers and the newborns and children under 5 years of age in the targeted districts of Khatlon region with a population of nearly 5 million.
On 5th September, the donors’ representatives visited 2 districts in the Khatlon region namely Danghara, and Norak where they saw project sites including a rural health center, and health houses benefitting from equipment and training, as well as the construction and renovation sites for the Danghara polyclinic in addition to the Norak Central District Hospital funded by LLF and IsDB. The health development interventions are specially designed for better access to quality family and childbirth services in rural communities, especially for women and children.
The international donors also interacted with the local communities and sought their opinion about the services provided under the LLF-funded MNCH project and how it has made a difference in saving the lives of mothers and their babies as well as facilitating the lives of the local people in this densely populated and yet geographically challenging environment.
On the occasion of LLF donors’ visit to Tajikistan, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) in a statement highlighted: “Our visit to Tajikistan came to enhance the humanitarian role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its eagerness to provide support to the affected people around the globe. Our mutual objective as partners of the LLF is to ensure our projects have a sustainable and effective impact, especially for mothers and children. Therefore, implementing the Improving Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) project was vital to achieve this objective and to see the impact on the field. We are proud to be partners of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) and to share humanitarian responsibility with the international community to help the most vulnerable people in the least developed countries to lead healthier and more productive lives.
Having visited the different LLF-funded health project sites in the Khatlon region, James Carty, Deputy Director for the Middle East and East Asia of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stated: “I join the pleasure of all investors in the MNCH project in Tajikistan in seeing where their funds have been invested.” He added: “I would like to thank all LLF partners for the amazing work that they are doing and the incredible impact that they are creating in the lives and livelihoods of the people around the world. We are so grateful for their hard work.”
Mr. Ali Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director-General for Planning at Qatar Fund for Development said: “We are happy to see the launching of such an important project. Inadequate and inaccessible health systems are one of the main global health challenges, and QFFD endeavors to advance its contribution to strengthening weak national health systems through its development activities.” He then added: ”The main driver behind QFFD’s decision to be the first Sovereign Fund in the Lives and Livelihoods Fund is its strategic alignment with QFFD’s priority sectors, one of which is the health sector.” Mr. Al Dabbagh further elaborated that QFFD emphasizes the importance of strengthening health Systems, especially through scaling up the capacity to deliver equitable and quality health services.”
Also, Mr. Ahmed Al Kalbani, Chief Economist with Operations Department at Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, commented on the health development progress that he saw on the ground in the Khatlon region and thanked the Government of Tajikistan, especially the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population as well as the Islamic Development Bank for implementing the project. He stated: “We do our part from the offices, but you are on the field and you are making the dreams come true. We thank you and appreciate everything you do.” He also referred to the meetings of the LLF partners with Tajikistan’s Ministers of Finance; Health; and Economic Development and Trade and elaborated that all these meetings indicate the commitment of the Government of Tajikistan, not only for the LLF project but also to the development of the country.
Dr. Hiba Ahmed, Director General for Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) in a statement on the occasion of the LLF partners’ visit to Tajikistan noted: “Despite being still in the implementation phase, the LLF project in Tajikistan has made remarkable forward steps towards enhancing maternity and reducing child mortality and morbidity rates in the Khatlon Region. The project complements the country’s efforts in developing an effective health sector that can realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially Goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. ISFD looks forward to seeing the project being fully implemented with positive impacts on the lives of beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas and the hard-to-reach communities.”
Dr. Hiba Ahmed also expressed the appreciation of ISFD and IsDB to the Government of Tajikistan, the different stakeholders, and ministries supporting this very important project, especially the Ministries of Finance, Health, and Economic Development & Trade. The country’s hospitality made this visit a great success.
Meantime, Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry, IsDB Group’s Regional head for Central Asia commended the government of Tajikistan for entrusting IsDB as a strategic development partner. He stated that IsDB has provided over 644 million dollars to support the development agenda of Tajikistan in the Energy, Agricultural, Education and Health, Transport, and financial sector. He further added that IsDB financing contributed to 12 SDGs and intends to expand operations with a special focus on goals: 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 4 (Quality Education), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 7 (Affordable Clean Energy), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure).
During their official visit to the Republic of Tajikistan, the LLF mission delegates met with H.E. Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda, Tajikistan’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade and IsDB Governor for the country; H.E. Mr. Abdullozoda Jamoliddin Abdullo, Minister of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan; AND H.E. Mr. Qahhorzoda Faiziddin Sattor, Minister of Finance of Tajikistan.
The meetings focused on reviewing the progress of the LLF-funded MNCH project in the Khatlon region and also exploring avenues for future cooperation with the Lives and Livelihoods Fund.
Dr. Waleed Addas, Head of Lives and Livelihoods Fund commented: “This health project is the first and only LLF investment in the whole CIS region and symbolizes the priority of the Fund partners for strengthening the resilience of the health systems as supporting health has been evident to save lives. We are most grateful for the Government of Tajikistan for making the LLF Donors Field Visit a great success and for making all of us see before our eyes the positive impact on the local communities.”
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