An EBRD loan of US$ 2.5 million and an equal investment grant from an international donor, to be announced shortly, will be lent to the city’s municipal solid waste management utility, Khizmatrasonii Naqliyoti Sanitari, with a sovereign guarantee.

The new financing will allow the city to start the second phase of major improvements to its solid waste management.

The EBRD has already financed the first phase by providing a loan of US$ 2.5 million and a grant from its Shareholder Special Fund for an equal amount.

The first phase of the works has included modernisation of the public utility’s equipment and machinery, procurement of waste collection tracks, rehabilitation of waste collection points and containers assets, as well as rehabilitation of the city’s landfill, and will be finished in the second half of 2016.

The new financing for the second phase will allow further upgrade of the waste collection and transportation assets, improvement of the existing landfill and the establishment of a new, modern integrated solid waste treatment facility and other landfill infrastructure.

Signing the loan agreement for the EBRD, associate director Bakhtiyor Faiziev said: "Waste management in Tajikistan needs to be improved across the country as a matter of public health priority.

"The EBRD is proud to be playing a key role in modernising vital public services in Tajikistan, including solid waste, and we are grateful to donors who support this work."

Khujand is just one of the cities in Tajikistan where the EBRD is investing in waste management.

Responding to the urgent need to upgrade outdated equipment from the Soviet era, not only in solid waste but in other vital public utilities such as water and wastewater, the EBRD has set up simplified procedures, or frameworks, to provide funds for these vital upgrades.

So far, the Bank has committed US$ 17 million in loans (including the current Khujand loan) to six cities in Tajikistan for solid waste improvement projects. The total value of projects co-financed by the EBRD is US$ 34 million, which includes donor grant co-financing.

The project in Khujand will also benefit from donor-funded technical assistance. A feasibility study will be financed by the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund for the amount of US$ 169,000.

Project implementation support, including an environmental and social action plan, will be financed by donors including the EU’s Investment Facility for Central Asia which will provide €295,000.

A further US$ 226,000 grant is being sought from international donors to provide the utility with corporate development support.To date, the EBRD has invested over €568 million in Tajikistan’s economy.