In 2020, the chairmanship of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) passed to the Republic of Tajikistan and the Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Emomali Rahmon was elected as the President of IFAS.
On 29 June 2021, a meeting of the IFAS Board was held in Dushanbe, and one of the significant results of the meeting for the countries of Central Asia was the approval of the Aral Sea Basin Program – 4 (ASBP-4). ASBP-4 is a regional program aimed at achieving integrated use and protection of water resources, environmental improvement and socio-economic development of the Aral Sea basin, as well as improving the institutional and legal mechanisms of IFAS. The regional scope of the program and the complex nature of its projects means that ASBP-4 includes a number of projects, including investment ones, that contribute to the achievement of water, environmental, food and energy security in Central Asia.
On 18 October 2021, in Dushanbe, with the support of the World Bank CAWEP Program, a Coordination Meeting of the Executive Committee of IFAS with international development partners was held. The meeting was attended by representatives of the governments of Central Asian countries, Mr. Usmonali Usmonzoda, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Serikkali Brekeshev, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Allanur Altyev, Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Environment of Turkmenistan (online), Mr. Shavkat Khamraev, Minister of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic, representatives of development partners Ms. Tatyana Proskuryakova, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia (online), Ms. Ms. Terhi Hakala, EU Special Representative for Central Asia (online), Ms. Shanny Campbell, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank in Tajikistan, Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry, Head of the Islamic Development Bank Regional Hub in Almaty, Mr. Peter Young, Deputy Regional Mission Director in Central Asia, Mr. Guy Bonvin, Swiss Special Envoy for Water in Central Asia, Mr. Alexey Zavalin, Deputy Academician-Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences and other interested parties.
The coordination meeting of the Executive Committee of IFAS with international development partners was aimed at the presentation of ASBP-4, establishing ties, strengthening and expanding cooperation with development partners for mutual information about the activities and plans for the future, ensuring synergy and joint implementation of projects and programs in the region. The meeting also made it possible to exchange information and opinions on the difficulties and obstacles faced by partners in the implementation of regional projects, ways to overcome them, and to increase the effectiveness of the measures taken. In addition, during the meeting it was proposed to create a coordination platform for EC IFAS and international partners for regular implementation meetings to exchange information and discuss existing issues on the implementation of projects in the region.
As a result of the meeting, a Joint Statement of the Executive Committee of IFAS and international development partners on the implementation of the Action Program for Assistance to the Aral Sea Basin Countries (ASBP-4) was adopted.