North-South research of NCCR in Central Asia

NCCR Central Asia is part of The National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR North-South (site is hosted at the University of Berne/Switzerland (in german), and their Center for development and environment: (in english). Works together with the Swiss Development Cooperation.

Swiss cooperation in Central Asia started with Kyrgyzstan in 1993 and Uzbekistan in 1994. Tajikistan received humanitarian aid during the civil war (1993-97), which had later been replaced by technical and financial assistance. Through the Swiss Cooperation Offices in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Switzerland implements projects which aim to achieve a sustainable change in the region. Some of the regional projects include limited activities in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Motivation for support: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are members of the Swiss-led voting group at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and at the Bretton Woods Institutions (International Monetary Fund, World Bank). Swiss active involvement in the region is supported by the Swiss government’s understanding that global security and prosperity will not be achieved as long as a huge gap separates the developed and the underdeveloped world. (full text).

Although sparsely populated, Central Asia has throughout history played an important role in relations between Asia and Europe. For centuries the regions of Central Asia were known in the West as transit points along the Silk Road. Today, the independent republics of the former Soviet Union are the focus of intense interest on the part of the world’s major powers as they vie for access to the region’s rich deposits in fossil fuels. Armed conflicts, ethnic tensions, unstable political institutions, competition for unevenly distributed soil and water resources and numerous other factors combine to create serious challenges for sustainable development in the region. A large, landlocked area, Central Asia is characterized by highly varied geographic conditions, including high plateaus and mountain regions, extensive deserts and grassy, treeless steppes. The main source of livelihood is livestock herding and agriculture, with some industry in the cities. NCCR North-South research in Central Asia is conducted in partnership with the Department of Water Ressources in Kyrgyzstan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan. Research themes include water distribution, mountain development and conflict management. (full text).

Special pages: Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan.

Swiss Cooperation (pages also in russian, link on the page) in Tajikistan; in Kyrgyzstan; in Uzbekistan.

Regional Coordination: Central Asia Regional Office, Ulan Kasimov (Regional Coordinator), Frunze Street 338, Bishkek 720011, Kyrgyzstan, Tel: +996 312 680520, E-Mail.

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