DUSHANBE, February 27, 2012, Asia-Plus -- On February 23-24, the EU started the formulation of a new project which will provide technical assistance to the border delimitation process in the Ferghana Valley and the region, the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan said.

During a series of meetings with the Department of Border Demarcation of President’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affaires, the State Committee for Land management and Geodesy, the Department of Border Control under the State Committee for National Security and the State Committee for Investments and State-owned Property Management (GosKomInvest), the European Commission''s in-house science service, the Joint Research Center (JRC), who will implement this project, presented the planned activities and technical assistance envisaged.  The opening meeting has been attended by the EU Ambassador to Tajikistan, Mr. Eduard Auer.

The EU project will provide to each of the participating countries satellite images of the border areas.  Photogrammetric and computer equipment will be donated to them, including appropriate software for processing of remote sensing images.  Local specialists will be trained to work with this equipment and software.  In addition EU will donate geodesic navigation equipment (GPS receivers) for determining the exact coordinates and altitudes of an area.

The received data and equipment can be used during the meetings of the bilateral commissions on border delineation and demarcation, as well as by the border guards departments in the region.

The foreseen project duration is of 18 months with an estimate total budget of 1,312,500.00 euros.

After Dushanbe the mission has continued in Bishkek where two-day discussions with the Kyrgyz authorities were launched on February 27.   

The EU remains ready to provide such bilateral assistance also to other interested countries in the region.

The European Union, composed of 27 Member States, is the world’s biggest aid donor.  Tajikistan gets the main share of bilateral assistance in the Central Asian region (€66 million for 2007-2010 and 62 million for 2011-2013) in support to sector programs, technical assistance and grants. It focuses on social protection, health and private sector development, underpinned by public finance management.  Tajikistan also receives regional and thematic assistance in areas like border management and drug control (BOMCA/CADAP), education (TEMPUS, Erasmus Mundus), water / environment, migration, human rights and democracy (EIDHR), non-State actors (NSA) and SME development (CA-Invest).  The total value of EU assistance disbursed to Tajikistan since 1992 is over €550 million.