Ban Ki-Moon: Towards a restored human security in Aral Sea region
United Nations in Uzbekistan launched its new initiative – a Joint Programme titled “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster”. The Joint Programme is carried out by five UN agencies – UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and UNV and supported by United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. It seeks to address human security needs of the most vulnerable population in Aral Sea region, particularly Muynak, Shumanay and Kanlikul districtswith a total population of 130,000 people - the farthest located and most severely affected by the environmental crisis.
It is planned to improve basic social infrastructure, including access to clean water and gas through design and implementation of community development plans in at least 50 communities, as well as create income generation opportunities through improved agriculture,entrepreneurship and tourism. Apart from that, the Joint Programme will also focus on strengthening of healthcare sector by educating 1,500 primary healthcare workers in lung health, reproductive health issues, and raising awareness of youth on family planning, and HIV-prevention.
During his visit in April 2010 the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the impact that the shrinking of the Aral Sea has had on the human security in the region and described it as “one of the world’s worst environmental disasters”. It was emphasized that considering the multi-sectoral nature and complexity of the problem there is a need for the activities to be implemented by more than one UN organization to have a greater impact. Particularly, Secretary General stated “We must work together – collectively. This is a responsibility shared among the communities in the region and among the nations of the world… and UN will work to provide the necessary assistance”.
It is important to note, that throughout its activities the Joint Programme will focus on improvement of human security of the region’s population, which refers to creation of adequate governance systems and sound policies, as well as enhancement of economic opportunity, education, health care and environmental security, to ensure that people live fulfilled lives.