Last year was relatively calm across the region, with countries that usually suffer from seasonal disasters, such as Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, mostly spared.
Tajikistan experiences one of the costliest years on record in terms of economic losses incurred by mudflows.
2016 could also be dubbed the year of regional cooperation with governments making progress in joining efforts on risk reduction and border demarcation.
The deadliest clash along the line of contact hits the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone with losses on both sides.
2016: the year of man-made threats
Few natural disasters; tension remains in the Caucasus but yields to better regional cooperation in Central Asia
The year of 2016 spared the region major natural disasters, with the most significant disaster of a manageable scale taking place in Tajikistan in May. As a result of flash floods and mudflows across several districts, out of 10,000 affected some 5,500 people required humanitarian assistance. Aid was mobilized by the Government of Tajikistan with the support of the Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT).
The first half of the year witnessed the worst escalation of violence in the NagornoKarabakh conflict zone. Lives were lost, infrastructure damaged and civilians living in the affected areas had to flee to safer areas.
The fighting lasted four days and ended in a fragile truce, with frequent violations reported by both sides.
Long-standing tension in Central Asia by the end of 2016 gave way to a significant warming of relations between Uzbekistan and its neighbours – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The countries achieved substantial progress on border demarcation, exchanged working visits, and signed a number of bilateral agreements, signifying a historic shift in regional cooperation in Central Asia.
On another positive note, Armenia and Tajikistan signed customs agreements with the United Nations in a step that will boost the preparedness of both countries to respond to large-scale emergencies that exceed national capacities.