Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)

Switzerland supports regional and national water management programmes in the three Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Switzerland's support also focuses on public and health sector reforms and efforts to develop the private sector.

As former Soviet republics, the Central Asian countries – Kazakh­stan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uz­bekistan – face similar challenges such as limited basic service delivery, insufficient economic diversification and job creation, low citizen’s participation in decision mak­ing and weak accountability of public institutions. In terms of economic development, political organisa­tion, environmental or security situation, Central Asia still remains a heterogeneous region. 

Switzerland is working to ensure a peaceful, social and economic transition and helping public and private institutions to provide effective services for all. It also promotes art, music and theatre, both traditional and modern.

All Swiss activities are carried out with special consideration to good governance, gender equality and social inclusion.


Water management is a central aspect of Switzerland's involvement in Central Asia. The region is coping with several challenges: Water is scarce, financial resources for new water-supply installations are missing and key water resources which are shared by different stakeholders – especially in the Fergana Valley – require regional coordination. In order to tackle water, energy, food and security-related challenges, Switzerland supports dialogue and cooperation in the region through its «Blue Diplomacy» approach. Under this approach, water resources are to be managed, protected and shared equitably among the Central Asian countries. Among other goals, Blue Diplomacy is also intended to contribute to peaceful coexistence and stability in the region. 

In addition to this regional approach, Switzerland also supports efforts undertaken in each country to improve access to drinking water in rural areas. It also supports disaster-risk reduction activities to mitigate the impact of natural disasters such as flooding, landslides and earthquakes.

Water – A vital resource under threat

Good governance

Public involvement in political processes is fundamental for the functioning of a democracy. Switzerland is supporting the efforts undertaken by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to make political institutions at all levels more inclusive and thus ensure greater and more effective involvement of citizens in reform and decision-making processes. Switzerland is also helping to achieve an efficient and effective provision of basic public services, particularly for disadvantaged population groups. Systematic efforts are being made to fight corruption, for example by demanding greater accountability from the providers of public services and by encouraging citizens to inform themselves about the workings of government authorities.

Advocacy and Good Governance

Employment and economic development

To promote job growth and economic development, Switzerland's cooperation activities will support the further development of the private sector in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This objective will be pursued in line with national economic priorities and related challenges and will also involve competitive micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The aim is to create decent jobs and achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth, which will ultimately help reduce poverty and emigration.

Private Sector Development and financial services

Basic education and vocational skills development


Every human being has a fundamental right to the highest attainable standard of health.  Public health also has a direct impact on economic growth. Switzerland therefore supports health sector reforms in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with a growing emphasis on bridging gaps between policymakers and citizens in order to find solutions that meet the high demand for good quality, efficient and affordable health services that are accessible to everyone.

Health – A prerequisite for development

Approach and partners

Switzerland has supported the reforms that have been under way in Central Asia since the early 1990s and is closely coordinating its activities with the project partners involved. 

The 2017–2021 Cooperation Strategy is being jointly implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

Switzerland's key partners in Central Asia:

  • Development partners

  • Local and international NGOs

  • Multilateral organisations such as the UNDP, development banks (EBRD, ADB) and the Bretton Woods institutions

  • Civil society organisations

  • National partners