On 1 April 2019 the Government of Norway and the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office in New York signed a Standard Agreement confirming a contribution of NOK 9.5 mln. (about USD 1.1 million) to the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral region in Uzbekistan

The drying up of the Aral Sea, which was the fourth largest lake in the world until the 1960s, is among the greatest human-made global environmental disasters. Its negative effects transcend national and regional boundaries.

The Trust Fund, which was established under the auspices of the United Nations in late 2018, provides a single platform for national and international cooperation to address the ecological and socio-economic needs of communities living in the Aral Sea region, as well as to accelerate joint efforts to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals.

To date, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan has officially pledged USD6.5 million contributions, of which USD 2.0 million has already been disbursed. Norway is now the first external donor to contribute to the Fund.

Currently, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, together with the UN, is actively working to promote awareness of the problems faced by communities living in the Aral Sea region and to attract additional financial and technical resources to the Trust Fund.

“The Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea enables Government and development partners to work jointly to ensure a people-centred, evidence-driven and needs-based response to communities’ needs, with a strong focus on capacity-building and innovation,” said Ms. Helena Fraser, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan. “We welcome Norway’s strong signal of commitment to addressing the Aral Sea crisis by becoming a donor to the Fund. This confirms Norway’s determination to help accelerate sustainable development in Uzbekistan”