The World Bank August 1 approved $11.5 Million USD additional loan financing to the Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project (CAHMP), supporting improved hydrometeorological services in The Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, countries which are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and future climate change risks.
The project has aimed since 2011 to improve accuracy and timeliness of weather and water forecasting in Central Asia, and thereby contribute to national efforts to protect the population and livelihoods from impacts of natural disasters.
“Weather hazards are responsible for 90% of total disaster losses worldwide, and pose a particular threat to local communities across Central Asia,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for Central Asia. “Faster and more accurate weather information can save lives and help many industries, from agriculture to transport, to anticipate weather-related shocks and take timely action. The World Bank is working closely with countries in Central Asia to improve weather and climate information for resilience.”
Central Asian countries are among the most climate vulnerable countries in the Europe and Central Asia region, with Tajikistan ranking first and the Kyrgyz Republic ranking third most vulnerable. Weather-related disasters such as floods, landslides, mudflows, frosts, droughts, high winds, and avalanches are frequent across these countries, and generally concentrated in mountainous regions. The risks are exacerbated by the limited capacities of countries in the region to predict, anticipate and respond to frequent weather shocks.
The World Bank, through CAHMP, has already invested $28 Million USD into modernizing monitoring networks, improving forecasting facilities and skills, and facilitating regional information sharing. The project helped to rehabilitate 33 weather stations and 3 river stations in the Kyrgyz Republic, and 54 weather stations and 16 river stations in Tajikistan. These efforts helped improve the capacity of countries to monitor and transmit real-time weather, climate and water measurements. The accuracy of forecasting improved up to 30 Percent in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, the bank said.
“Better access to critical weather data will deliver significant benefits to the region by boosting agricultural production, ensuring better preparedness for natural disasters and improving climate resilient planning in the most critical sectors - agriculture, food security, transport, water resources, energy, and public health”, a World Bank statement said.
The new funding, which extends support by three years, is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), with $2.5 Million USD in IDA credit, and $9 Million in IDA grants.