DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN (1 July 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million grant to Tajikistan to strengthen the skills of the country’s youth, women, and labor migrants to improve their employability and wages, and enhance the capacity of employment and migration agencies. The grant is accompanied by an additional $1.5 million grant from the Japan Fund for Information and Communication Technology, to be administered by ADB.

“This project is especially important now as Tajikistan is expected to see an increase in unemployment and returning migrants due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,” said the Project Administration Unit Head of ADB's Social Sector Division for Central and West Asia Eiko K. Izawa. “It will help to reskill affected workers and cushion Tajikistan from the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on human capital.”

Three new migration service centers will be built and equipped in Khujand, Bokhtar, and Vose as one-stop centers for departing and returning migrants. The centers will offer migration orientation programs, language training, and entry-level pre-employment skills training to help migrants find better jobs and enable safer living conditions in the destination countries. The centers will also provide financial literacy training for safe remittance transmission and information and communications technology (ICT) training for easier access to social welfare information.

The project will establish and equip three new model "job centers" in Dushanbe for tourism, in Rogun for energy, and in Dangara for agriculture. The job centers will provide enhanced skills training, childcare centers, and a pilot stipend program for female job seekers—a pilot program for new and more focused soft skills training, job counseling services to match interests and skills to potential jobs, and ICT skills training for respective sectors.

The project will develop new national classification of occupations based on the International Labour Organization’s International Standard Classification of Occupations 2008 and help apply it to training certifications and labor market surveys. It will strengthen the capacity of the migration and employment agencies and promote awareness of migration and employment services.

The project will run for six years with an expected completion in 2026. The Ministry of Labour, Migration, and Employment will be the executing agency.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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