Forecast-based Financing (FbF) in Tajikistan
Since 2019 the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan has been working, with the support of German Red Cross, to develop early action protocols for heatwaves and cold waves. While both protocols are still under development, heatwave actions were tested in collaboration with the Committee of Emergency Situations (CoES), the Ministry of Health, and the leadership of five target communities in Khujand city and Orzu village (northern Tajikistan) during a heatwave in July 2019.
The project seeks to reduce the humanitarian impact of heatwaves and cold waves through actions that reduce the health impacts of extreme weather and help families with basic supplies to stay safe and healthy.
January 2019 – December 2021
Heatwave | Cold wave
Southern part of the country—Khatlon province Districts: N. Khusrav | Shahrituz | Kabodiyon | Panj
Northern part of the country—Sughd province Districts: Asht | Zafarobod | Mastcho
North-east part—DRS Districts: Lakhsh | Rasht
North-east part—GBAO province Districts: Darvoz
East part—GBAO province Districts: Murgob
Southern part—Khatlon province Districts: Khovaling
Northern part—Sughd province Districts: Mastchohi Kuhi
Early action sectors
Anticipatory Action Protocols/Plans in place
Heatwave and Coldwave EAP are under development
Test-activation for Heatwave in July 2019
Test-activation for Cold wave in February 2020
Population reached during activation
Heatwave: 2000 patients in 5 hospitals; 1035 school children in 5 remote schools; 4544 people in 1116 households in remote villages
Cold wave: 2,500 people
Key actors/implementing partners
The Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan, with support from the German Red Cross and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, work closely with the national hydrometeorological services, the Committee of Emergency Situations (CoES), Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) partners, local authorities, community leaders and representatives from agricultural and health agencies to design and implement the Early Action protocols.
Anticipation in practice: Project description
Heatwaves in Tajikistan occur primarily in the eastern Tajik lowlands from June to September. Temperatures can reach up to 48 °C, compromising people’s health, and killing livestock and crops. As over fifty percent of the country’s labor force works in agriculture, many people must tend to their crops despite inhospitable conditions. Working in the heat can exacerbate underlying conditions and put children, laborers, farmers, and other vulnerable populations at risk of heat stroke. In order to reduce the negative consequences of extreme heat on these populations, the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan is proposing to implement the following early actions:
- Dissemination of early warning messages in affected areas via telephone and megaphone
- Distribution of flyers, posters, other awareness materials to educate people on how to prevent heat-related illnesses
- Distribution of drinking water, Water spray cooling fans, sun hats, sun umbrellas, and water purification tablets
- Assistance in referring severe heat-related illnesses to the nearest hospitals
The heatwave protocol is triggered when a forecast indicates above 3 days in a raw with above 40.5C in northern part and above 43.5C in southern part of the country, which corresponds to a 10—year return period is considered as a critical value.
Cold waves generally occur between December and March in the parts of the country with the highest elevation. Extreme cold spells lead to an increase in acute respiratory diseases and disruption of water and power supplies because of freezing infrastructure. The cold also kills or weakens the livestock upon which many households depend and can make roads impassable, thereby limiting access to health services as well as food, fuel, and other basic commodities. Despite an increased need for health services, access is often limited because of disruptions to transit, electricity, and heating. Although the EAP is still under development, the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan is considering the following early actions to mitigate the impact of cold waves:
- Dissemination of early warning and awareness messages via radio, television and newspaper.
- Provision of non-food items, including hard coal and heaters for homes, window insulation, blankets and warm clothing to protect vulnerable populations from the cold.
- Distribution of essential food commodities to ensure people have sufficient supplies for a minimum of 7 days or longer primarily depending on forecast.
In compliance with the criteria for cold wave EAP, the trigger mechanism is activated when the extreme cold air temperature is forecasted and kept above 3 days in a row with above 38.0–C in western part, above –18.0C in northern part and –15.0C in southern part of Tajikistan. This criterion corresponds to a 10-year return period which is considered as a critical value.
RCST, CoES and Ministry of Health select beneficiaries for both interventions based on a number of criteria, including families living in remote areas and living under the national poverty line.
Outcomes and lessons learnt
In July 2019 and 2020 (heatwave) and February 2020 (cold wave), the disaster Management Department of the RCST, along with branch staff and volunteers, engaged representatives of governmental emergency agencies and active residents of vulnerable communities in northern and southern Tajikistan in test activations. These events gave the participants an opportunity to experience early action scenarios and incorporate learning into the protocols.
Based on the experience of Tajik Hydromet, CoES, local NGOs, WHO and knowledge gained during Regional and Global Dialogue Platforms, GRC and RCST elaborated the following communication materials devoted to heatwaves and cold waves:
a. Flyers for heatwave and cold wave in Tajik and Russian languages to be disseminated among the population living in selected areas, at central hospitals, and in RCST branches;
b. Billboards for heatwave and cold wave, which will be installed in central hospitals and in local schools.
During the founding of our village in 1960, a drinking water well was drilled by local authorities. Due to the fact that since 1985 the well has been partially blocked due to soil destruction, problems began in our village with a lack of safe drinking water, especially in the summer. The summer in 2017, the situation worsened due to unusually hot days, which completely paralyzed the supply of drinking water in our community. And thanks to the timely assistance provided by the RCST team and the CoES, the residents of our village have constant access to drinking water delivered during extreme hot weather months in 2019 and 2020, for which we are very grateful to all those who provided such urgently needed support.
Facts and figures
Key figures at a glance