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Last Update : Friday, Oct 30, 2015

International Cooperation

JapanGov Weekly

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Monday, Oct 26, 2015]

Signing of Grant Agreement for Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Afghanistan: Implementing locust measures to ensure food security and improve the livelihoods of farmers

On October 24, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to provide grant aid of up to 596 million yen for the Project for Improvement of Locust Management.

The objective of the project is to improve monitoring so that large outbreaks of locusts can be contained in the early stages, and improve the capacity to eradicate the locusts and address damage in three countries: the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. JICA will provide the grant funds to the FAO, and the project will be carried out with coordination among the FAO offices in Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Afghanistan.

Employing about two-thirds of the working population, agriculture is the primary means of livelihood in these three countries but accounts for only about 25 percent of the GDP in each, so improving agricultural productivity is a challenge directly linked to raising the standard of living for farmers and alleviating poverty.

One of the reasons for the low agricultural productivity is damage to crops by locusts that swarm periodically. Moreover, locust damage is increasing. In 2011, 158,000 hectares of farmland were damaged in Tajikistan and 227,000 hectares in Afghanistan, and in 2008, 163,000 hectares were damaged in the Kyrgyz Republic.

In this project, efforts will be coordinated among the governments of each of the three countries and FAO to strengthen the capacity to monitor locusts, share information, and eradicate the insects. The project will also contribute to the development of regional cooperation among countries and capacity building for the whole region so that more effective action can be taken against locusts when traveling quickly over a wide area..

Through these measures, the project will reduce the crop damage caused by locusts, improve food safety in the three countries, and by extension improve the living environment in Central Asia and the Caucasus overall.

Japan and Central Asian countries agreed to promote regional cooperation in the field of agriculture at the Fifth Foreign Minister’s Meeting, Central Asia plus Japan, held in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014, and implementation of this project will be carried out with coordination from all Central Asian countries.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Monday, Oct 26, 2015]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with Uzbekistan: Constructing a high-efficiency cogeneration plant, improving reliability and efficiency, and reducing the environmental burden

On October 25, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the capital of Tashkent to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 12 billion yen for the Tashkent Thermal Power Cogeneration Plant Construction Project with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.

This loan agreement was signed under the Electric Power Sector Project Loan framework (86.839 billion yen), for which an Exchange of Notes (E/N) was signed on November 10, 2014, between the Governments of Japan and Uzbekistan as a Japanese ODA loan framework to provide comprehensive support for multiple projects.

The objective of the project is to provide an efficient and sustainable supply of heat and power in Tashkent by constructing a thermal and power cogeneration facility in the city, thereby contributing to the country’s sustainable economic growth. The loan funds for the project will be allocated to construction of the plant and related facilities, and to consulting services (design work, assistance with bidding and construction supervision).

With a population of approximately 29.3 million people, Uzbekistan has the largest population of any country in Central Asia and has played a central role in the region since the Soviet era. Due to favorable natural gas exports and other factors, the economy of the country grew favorably in the first half of 2015 at 8.1 percent despite concerns of economic slow-downs in Russia and other major trade partners.

About nine-tenths of Uzbekistan’s power supply which drives the nation’s economy is supplied by 10 thermal power plants located around the country, but during the 40 to 50 years that most have been in operation, they have lost about 30 percent of their power generation capacity due to deterioration. As demand for power is high in Tashkent Region, where the capital city of Tashkent is located, it is essential that the ability to supply power and its reliability be improved. In major metropolitan areas such as Tashkent, hot water and steam are supplied to factories and residences, but the heat supply facilities have also deteriorated markedly. Therefore, the power and heat supply capacity for Tashkent have dropped along with the supply reliability even while the population has risen in the region, and meeting the power demand there is a priority.

In addition, the older facilities are not energy-efficient: a major factor in the growing consumption of natural gas, the quantity of fuel consumed by the plants, and the increasing amount of carbon dioxide emissions. With the aim of improving these circumstances, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has conducted a project named the High Efficiency Gas Turbine Cogeneration Technology Model, demonstrating a fuel use reduction of approximately 21 percent compared to existing power supply methods on a similar scale.

Building on this outcome, this project will install cogeneration equipment with a similar level of efficiency as the NEDO project, and aims to provide a steady supply of power and heat that can reduce the environmental burden and contribute to the development of economic activities in the country overall.

The Government of Uzbekistan has made the efficient and stable use of energy through modernizing existing power plants and cogeneration facilities a priority issue, along with the development of new power sources that utilize the country’s plentiful natural gas resources. JICA continues to provide cooperation for further economic development in Uzbekistan and advance projects in the power sector, which bears an important role in creating a society with a lower environmental burden and high energy efficiency.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Monday, Oct 26, 2015]

Signing of Grant Agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic: Improving aircraft operation safety and reliability along with support for airport operation efficiency through the provision of equipment

On October 26, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in the capital of Bishkek to provide grant aid of up to 1,630 million yen for assistance for the Project for Improvement of Equipment of the Manas International Airport with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.

This project will provide Manas International Airport with aviation safety equipment and ground support equipment to ensure safe flight and efficient airport operation, thereby improving the safety and reliability at the airport and of aircraft operation.

Out of the four international and seven domestic airports in the Kyrgyz Republic Manas International Airport, which is located in the national capital of Bishkek, is the largest international airport in the country. Constructed in 1974, Manas International Airport underwent runway and passenger terminal building repairs and received aviation safety equipment through the Bishkek-Manas International Airport Modernization Project, which was supported by a Japanese ODA loan in 1996. The airport plays an important role as the gateway to the Kyrgyz Republic.

The number of passengers on international routes in particular has risen over the past six years, increasing an average of at least 10 percent per year, and further growth is projected, yet regular service is obstructed by dense fog and other weather conditions, particularly in winter, making landings impossible due to low visibility. Also, there is insufficient ground support equipment needed for efficient airport operation. Therefore, updating the aviation safety equipment and providing ground support equipment is a high priority for regular, safe aircraft operation.

With the provision of aviation safety equipment through this project, it is expected that regular aircraft service will be possible even in low visibility, and the provision of ground equipment is expected to make efficient airport operation possible to meet the growing number of passengers. In addition to this project, JICA implements aviation safety training for employees at Manas International Airport, and otherwise providing inclusive support for efficient operation and improved safety and reliability at the airport.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Monday, Oct 26, 2015]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic: Strengthening the capacity to transport people and goods domestically and internationally

On October 26, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in the capital city, Bishkek, to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 11.915 billion yen for assistance for the International Main Roads Improvement Project with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance. This is the first Japanese ODA loan to the Kyrgyz Republic in 16 years.

This project will provide improvements to a 47-kilometer interval on an international trunk roadway connecting Osh, Batken and Isfana in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic, and carry out disaster risk reduction measures (tunnel construction, falling rock countermeasures and landslide prevention) on an international trunk roadway connecting Bishkek and Osh, a core city in the south. These measures will improve the road transportation capacity and safety in the Kyrgyz Republic, thereby facilitating domestic and international transportation and contributing to economic growth. The loan funds for this project will be allocated to public works, including road improvements, bridge replacement, tunnel construction, and falling rock and landslide measures, and to consulting services, including procurement assistance and construction supervision. Special Terms for Economic Partnership apply to the Japanese ODA loan for this project, and Japanese technology will be used for the disaster risk reduction measures and bridge portions of this project.

Located inland, the Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous country separated into northern and southern parts by high mountains. About 34,000 kilometers in length, the road network acts not only as economic infrastructure for the movement of people and goods within the country and for trade with neighboring countries, but also plays an important social role. The Osh-Batken-Isfana road is the most important trunk road in the south, connecting to the Bishkek-Osh road in the east and the Tajikistan border in the west, but since the Kyrgyz Republic became independent from the Soviet Union, the road has not had adequate repairs and has deteriorated. The Bishkek-Osh road connects Bishkek in the north with Osh, the country’s second largest city which is located in the south, but transportation along the route is often obstructed by landslides, avalanches and other problems in the mountains.

This project will improve the Osh-Batken-Isfana road where deterioration has progressed and the Bishkek-Osh road where natural disasters frequently impede traffic, stimulating domestic transportation and trade with neighboring nations, which is expected to lead to economic growth and economic stimulation in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Japan provides Japanese ODA loan assistance, grant aid and technical cooperation for the road sector in the Kyrgyz Republic. Projects relating to the current project include the Project for the Capacity Building of Road Maintenance in the Kyrgyz Republic, a past technical cooperation project, and the Project for Capacity Development for Maintenance Management of Bridges and Tunnels, currently in progress. The maintenance and management capacity that have been developed through these projects will be applied to the present project. As part of grant aid, Japan has provided road maintenance and operation equipment in every region of the country, except Batken Region, and that equipment will be used to maintain and operate the infrastructure developed by this project. Since 2008, JICA has dispatched road administration advisors to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and coordination with the current advisor is planned.

This new Japanese ODA loan is the first in 16 years to the Kyrgyz Republic since fiscal year 1999, but when President Almazbek Atambayev visited Japan in February 2013, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks during which they agreed on the need to accelerate the formation of strategically important projects toward resuming Japanese ODA loans for the Kyrgyz Republic. This ODA loan is a result of that agreement.