Second steering committee meeting highlights achievements of European Union funded Health Development Programme in Tajikistan

The Health Development Programme is contributing a 55 million euro to moving towards Universal Health Coverage in Tajikistan, leaving no-one’s health behind.

17 November 2023
Second EU Health Development Programme Steering Committee Meeting Representatives
UNICEF/Tajikistan/2023/ M. Ruziev
Second EU health development programme steering committee meeting representatives

DUSHANBE - The second Steering Committee meeting of the Health Development Programme, a European Union-funded initiative executed by World Health Organization (WHO), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), showcased significant advancements in Universal Health Coverage in Tajikistan during its second year of implementation. The meeting was also attended by the representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population as well as the Ministry of Finance.


"Tajikistan has consistently voiced its intention to move towards universal health coverage, including improving access to health services and reducing the financial burden on the population. In this regard, we will continue working closely with our development partners and I am sure that today’s meeting, will give an impetus to the successful continuation and implementation of health development programme in Tajikistan.” -  Ilhom Bandayev, Head of the Department of Primary Health Care Reform and International Relations, Ministry of Health Health and Social Protection of Population of Tajikistan.

During the meeting, the Committee reviewed the major milestones achieved during the second year of the program and outlined key priorities for the upcoming, third year. The WHO worked closely with the Government of Tajikistan, resulting in new regulation paving the way to improve how the health system is financed. Important steps were taken to further strengthen primary health care, and to digitalize the health system.  Meanwhile, UNICEF procured, distributed, and installed essential medical equipment for 750 primary health care facilities and 13 secondary level facilities across Tajikistan together with full rehabilitation of WASH facilities for 15 Secondary Health Care Facilities, and the installation of handwashing stations and equipment in 750 Primary Health Care Centres. Also, GIZ provided the population (approximately, 8000 people) of the village of Mirzo Tursunzoda and other neighboring villages with access to primary health care services at the renovated RHC.  Two more PHC are in the process to be renovated and equipped and some more renovations and constructions are to come soon.

“Today’s exchanges were a valuable guide to reiterate the Government, the EU, WHO, GIZ and UNICEF’s joint vision on strengthening health systems and foster focused and coordinated efforts in the year ahead. We addressed wider health sector reforms and all development partners called for an acceleration of efforts, especially in the health sector financing and provision of adequate resources. We want to make the Health Development Programme stronger and even more meaningful face to the health needs of the Tajik population.” -  said Marc Buchmann, Head of Cooperation of the European Union in Tajikistan.

The Steering Committee lauded WHO's technical assistance in strengthening health governance and financing, enabling Tajikistan to enhance overall healthcare funding and to establish and institutionalize efficient mechanisms for healthcare financing nationwide. Additionally, GIZ's contributions in rehabilitating primary healthcare facilities and integrating primary healthcare services across various districts were acknowledged. UNICEF's dedication to assessing and improving infection prevention and control measures was also recognized as crucial in curbing the spread of infectious diseases within healthcare facilities and the general population.

“I have visited a few locations in my short time in the country and have seen first-hand the new sanitation and medical equipment in health facilities. These facilities are critical to maintaining hygiene and infection prevention control measures, and to saving lives. The people of Tajikistan must remain our focus and our priority.” - Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Tajikistan, Representative. 

Running from 2021 to 2025 under the slogan "leave no-one's health behind," the Health Development Programme has witnessed the WHO, GIZ, and UNICEF’s collective and substantial support to the Government of Tajikistan in attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The UHC aligns with the National Health Strategy until 2030, ensuring equitable access to essential health services for all citizens of Tajikistan without imposing financial burdens.

“We stand at the threshold of implementing transformative changes in the way health in Tajikistan is financed. By working with the government, the European Union, and partners to make essential health services more accessible and affordable, we pave the path towards a healthier society.”- Dr. Victor Olsavszky, WHO Tajikistan, Representative.  

The Health Development Programme is contributing a 55 million euro to moving towards Universal Health Coverage in Tajikistan, leaving no-one’s health behind. Over the past 30 years, the EU has been supporting Tajikistan to deliver on its 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda commitments. Past EU funded programmes have strongly contributed to strengthened health systems across the country.

“What I personally appreciate about the European Union program is that we can support the health system in Tajikistan from different angles and hopefully together we can make an important contribution to good, affordable, and reliable health care for the population, even if they live in rural areas, far away from the good medical facilities in the cities." Sabine Olthof, GIZ Tajikistan, Country director.

Contact details of the Project:

Daler Dodojonov, Communications Officer, Donor Visibility, UNICEF Tajikistan  

Judith Sprunken, Technical Officer, Communications and Partnership Management, WHO in Tajikistan,

Davronzoda Davroni, Expert in Communication and Visibility, GIZ in Tajikistan,

Media contacts

Daler Dodojonov
Communications and Visibility Officer
UNICEF in Tajikistan
Tel: +992939990096


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993. 

To receive more information about UNICEF and our work in Tajikistan, please visit

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