UNDP launches initiative to prevent violent extremism in Central Asia


ASTANA (TCA) — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ambassador of Japan to Kazakhstan, Mr. Ichiro Kawabata, on February 22 signed the Exchange of Note with which the Government of Japan committed to finance US $6,145,853 for the regional project entitled “Strengthening Community Resilience and Regional Cooperation for Prevention of Violent Extremism in Central Asia” to be implemented by UNDP. The Project Document was also signed between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Ashikbayev, and UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, Mr. Norimasa Shimomura.

The initiative is aimed at mobilizing the positive energy, open-mindedness and dynamism of young people in Central Asia as a potential force to counter extremist influences and narratives in the vulnerable communities. This will be achieved through local-level youth engagement initiatives and measures to improve their employability, in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. All countries of Central Asia will be invited to participate in joint activities to be organized at the regional level, which will support regional youth networking as well as exchange of knowledge and experiences in relation to prevention of youth radicalization in Central Asian countries.

The project will be implemented over a period of 30 months. UNDP in Kazakhstan will be the focal agent of the initiative, while UNDP offices in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will be responsible for implementing activities in the respective country. UNDP Kazakhstan, together with UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH), will be responsible for managing and facilitating the activities implemented at the regional level, in close cooperation with other relevant UN agencies and partners.

Sergey Kwan