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EU To Fund Central Asia Disaster Programs

5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission today announced a 3.5 million euro ($4.3 million) aid package to fund disaster prevention and preparedness in Central Asia.

All five countries in the region -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will benefit from the aid.

Today's grant in the latest in a series of EU contributions to disaster prevention in Central Asia starting in 1995.

A commission statement issued today says the grant is aimed at helping local communities better identify hazards and develop early-warning systems, rapid-response mechanisms, and disaster-management plans.

The money will be spent in areas that have been identified as the most vulnerable to natural disasters.

This includes most of Tajikistan, parts of Uzbekistan, and southern Kyrgyzstan, including the Fergana Valley.