"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tajikistan - Tragedy unfolding as country freezes, electricity supplies almost zero.

The situation is terrible in Tajikistan. A country freezing to death - and nearly half of Tajikistan's population is under 14 years of age. GDP nominal (2007 est.): $3.5 billion.GDP nominal per capita (2007 est.): U.S. $437.

Now Kyrgyz Minister of Energy and Industry Saparbek Balkibekov says that Kyrgyzstan has stopped supplying electricity to Tajikistan - despite the agreement at the meeting on January 24th in Moscow with Tajikistan Prime Minister Akil Akilov (Oqil Ghaybulloyevich Oqilov ) asked Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov to increase capacity of electricity supply to Tajikistan.

Sharifkhon Samiev, head of Barqi Tojik, the state-controlled power monopoly, said on 7 February that the country’s energy sector was facing an emergency situation. As a result, Barqi Tojik had introduced electricity-rationing across the country. “Tajikistan is on the verge of a real humanitarian disaster. The government cannot cope with the crisis without international aid,” Tursun Kabirov, a local analyst, said. (More from UNDP here)

Tajikistan is experiencing the coldest winter ever (temperatures of a record low of -20C), and the hydro systems at Norek have dried / frozen up (which supplies 60 per cent of the country's power) and will do so shortly at Toktogul water reservoir.

Residents in the capital Dushanbe have been rationed to 10 hours of electricity a day. Outlying regions in the mountainous country are reaching 90 minutes of electricity a day at most.

Igor Chudinov, Kyrgyzstan's prime minister, told a cabinet meeting that his country was stopping its daily supply of 11 million kilowatt hours because Tajikistan was refusing to "pay back" 55 million kwh per day once spring comes.

On Wednesday February 13, Tajik Energy and Industries Minister Sherali Gul met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, according to Russia’s news agency RIA Novosti.

RIA Novosti reported that the Tajik minister asked that Turkmenistan increase by an unspecified amount the volume of electricity it currently supplies to Tajikistan in connection with ongoing energy crisis and electricity shortages in Tajikistan. (AFP)

According to the Russian news agency, the Turkmen president reportedly agreed to provide maximal assistance within the bounds of the possible... although Tajikistan owes Turkmenistan £23 MN which is currently the cause of concern.

On February 4 Uzbekistan cut power to Tajikistan, but supplies were restored on Tuesday12th,"The export volume will gradually increase to reach four million kwh a day," said an executive from Uzbekenergo, an Uzbek power company.Uzbekistan, which Tajikistan is depending on for energy imports, has also been suffering from the freezing weather.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office changed its travel advice for Tajikistan on 12th February . They now advise against all travel to the country due to the energy crisis.

The advice reads: "We advise against all but essential travel to Tajikistan until the energy situation improves. Tajikistan is suffering from particularly low temperatures and an energy crisis. Much of the country (including most hotels) is without electricity. Dushanbe has a severely rationed electricity supply. This situation is likely to persist until late March."

UNICEF says that Power cuts and severe water shortages threaten the lives of 3.5 Mn. children. Of the estimated 7 Mn. people affected by the crisis, approximately half are children, and close to 1 MN. are children under the age of five. Vulnerable to cold, hunger and trauma, children and women in the country require urgent life-saving assistance to be able to survive.

UNICEF have dispatched emergency supplies worth more than US$200,000 to Tajikistan to meet the immediate life-saving needs of children and women.These include emergency health kits, jerry cans, baby blankets, hygiene sets, high protein biscuits, and generators to child and maternity hospitals and residential child care institutions.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that food insecurityis affecting more than 550,000 people, of whom at least 260,000 need immediate assistance, according to the UN World Food Program and other international partners.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $830,000 to the people of Tajikistan after extreme winter weather and an energy crisis have caused a humanitarian crisis in the country. This funding will help provide fuel, heaters, clothing, household supplies, and health services to those in need through USAID partners Save the Children, CARE, and Mercy Corps.

USAID are now shipping more than 259,000 humanitarian daily rations to Tajikistan. The total value of the rations, including transportation, is $1.6 million dollars, bringing the total valueof U.S. Government humanitarian assistance to nearly $2.5 million.

CARE is distributing food, warm clothing, heating stoves, fuel and other emergency supplies to more than 17,000 vulnerable people in Dushanbe, Yovon, Vahdat, and Varzob districts.

Before the crisis hit, CARE (who have ben in the country since 1994) had already been working to meet the food needs of the most vulnerable people in Tajikistan, distributing food to 12,000 students and 4,400 pregnant and lactating women as part of a multi-agency food distribution program.

"We are already in a food emergency situation. One meal a day is not uncommon, and food prices are rising," said Louis Alexander, Country Director for CARE in Tajikistan.

Asia Plus also reports that heavy snowfalls hit some districts in mountain areas of Tajikistan on the night of February 13-14 and caused caused the roofs of medical and educational facilities as well as homes to collapse.

In Khatlon’s Mouminobod district, heavy snowfalls damaged a number of medical and educational facilities.

According to the Kulob emergency management agency, the heavy snowfalls caused the roof of the Mouminobod boarding school, which is house for 34 orphaned children to collapse but no casulaties have been recorded.

BBC From our Own Correspondent Natalia Antelava BBC, Tajikistan Online Text (podcast available ) BBC's services to Tajikistan on FM frequencies were suspended by the Tajik authorities since Tuesday 10 January 2006.

Don't expect anything in the MSM Radio / TV / Press outside the BBC World Service.

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish