Building Economic and Social Connections in Tajikistan through Integrated Development
The Aga Khan Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a new Global Development Alliance (GDA) entitled Economic and Social Connections: A Multi-Input Area Development Financing Facility for Tajikistan (ESCoMIAD). Through integrated development, the Alliance promotes improved quality of life for people living along the Tajik border with Afghanistan. AKF and USAID each contribute just over $6 million to the GDA, for a total commitment of $12.1 million.
ESCoMIAD works along two parallel tracks. In the first track, AKF works in partnership with sister agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to undertake social development activities using a MIAD approach. Under the approach, AKF and its partners work across the major sectors that influence quality of life: economic growth through enterprise development; household financial security; governance and civil society; health; and education. Partners include First Microfinance Bank of Tajikistan (FMFB), University of Central Asia, Aga Khan Health Services, and Pamir Energy.
In the second track, AKF and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, is making investments in private companies in Tajikistan. Their success will help to create jobs, promote regional trade and thereby stimulate the Tajik economy as a whole. Of USAID’s contribution to ESCoMIAD, $1 million will go to these investments.
The first set of investments by USAID and AKF of $1 million each is catalyzing FMFB’s portfolio of loans to small and medium enterprises to help to create jobs and promote economic growth.
A portion of the returns generated by the investments – including 100% of the returns on USAID’s contribution – will form the foundation of a trust fund-like mechanism that is dedicated to supporting social development activities along the Tajik-Afghan border for decades to come.
Reinvesting Returns to Support Sustainable
ESCoMIAD is the second MIAD GDA between AKF and USAID, following the five-year, $30.7 million partnership begun in Afghanistan in 2013. The two projects work together, as appropriate, along their respective sides of the Panj River that separates Tajikistan and Afghanistan. They will also collaborate on a research and learning agenda that seeks to understand the benefits of the MIAD approach and of public-private partnerships in development settings.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government and/or AKF USA and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).