Joint Programming and Activities
Since 2000, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA have been working in accordance with the harmonized program cycles. The CCA has been updated, and it is planned to launch the UNDAF process in 2003.
An interagency programme on HIV/AIDS prevention was signed with the Kyrgyz Government in April and launched in June 2002. The UN AIDS Theme Group played a pivotal role in making it happen. UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, UNIFEM and IOM have joined. The joint programme supports the government's plan to combat the spread of HIV and offers an optimum and complementary use of UN resources. The amount targeted is USD 1 million, of which more than USD 500,000 has already been mobilized. The Programme aims to strengthen capacities at the national, regional, and community level to respond effectively and compassionately to the complex causes and consequences of HIV/AIDS. The Joint UN Programme builds on the strengths and mandates of each agency while assuring the consistency and efficiency of a unified program.
UNICEF leads the HIV/AIDS Theme Group that meets on a regular basis with representation from all agencies involved in HIV/AIDS prevention in Kyrgyzstan. The Thematic Group provides a mechanism for the various agencies to coordinate HIV/AIDS prevention activities and related resource mobilization efforts. Since the National AIDS Centre is a primary counterpart for the HIV/AIDS prevention activities of UNFPA and UNDP, UNFPA and UNDP provide mutual support to each other's efforts through seminars, training programs, and the development and dissemination of information and education materials.
Thus, a major lesson learned from this experience of joint programming is that the overall strategy is to be overseen by the UNCT and Theme Group, while programme administration may remain with individual agencies, provided their individual activities are targeted to jointly agreed strategic objective.
In the same area, UNHCR and UNFPA continued a joint project on HIV/AIDS education among young Tajik refugees. This initiative substantially increased awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues among more than 400 young refugees and established a corps of twelve refugee trainers qualified to deliver training on reproductive health and family planning issues, as well as on HIV/AIDS prevention. At the request of the leaders of the refugees, a similar joint UNHCR/UNFPA project is now starting to address similar issues among adult refugees. In addition, UNFPA provides information and education materials and condoms to the UNHCR-supported Medical Centre for Refugees. To address other health challenges the country is facing, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WHO conduct a survey, using methodology developed by UNICEF, to improve the collection of data on live births. UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO also joined the World Bank-financed National Health Care Reform Program with their contribution to the national efforts on reducing child mortality.
In 2002, the UNCT established its Gender Theme Group chaired by IOM.
Elsewhere, UNHCR and UNDP, together with national and international partners continued their support to the NGO Legal Clinic with an emphasis on most vulnerable groups including single mothers, multiple-children families and the elderly. In 2002, legal consultations were given to 720 refugees and asylum seekers, more than a thousand documents underwent legal examination and/or filed to court. Humanitarian assistance was provided to more than 800 refugees, including children who received school-kits. Also the Clinic's clients received information and consultations on the legal aspects of gender and HIV/AIDS.
In response to the Government appeal for a relief in the aftermath spring mudslides in the south, UNHCR and UNICEF in a concerted effort provided clothing, blankets and other goods to 200 affected families, including 800 children.
The UNCT continued successful practice of marking high-profile events commemorating UN Theme Days, and the Public Information Working Group was instrumental in pursuing the UN Information and Communication Strategy thus raising the in-country profile of the UN System. The year 2002 saw an extensive media coverage of UN activities: more than 300 print articles came out. The most popular themes were: HIV/AIDS and poverty. The visit of the Secretary-General brought in 19 articles. More than 100 news stories and short documentaries were on TV and radio. This, in part, became a result of the UNCT-sponsored trips of local journalists to the poorest provinces and the media contest with ensuing MDG-related coverage in print and electronic media. Arranging a trip for Danish Journalists around the country resulted in an exposure of Danish public to the challenges of Kyrgyzstan's development.
To advocate the positive image of the UN System and contribute to preservation of the national heritage, the UNCT together with the UNESCO Regional Office in Almaty provided support to hold conservation works at the site an ancient Nestorian Church, which has survived for some 1,500 years.
The Resident Coordinator's Office provided extensive support to the visit of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala. The USG was holding consultations at a senior political level on the issue of the establishment of the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone. This visit and subsequent activities resulted in a draft of the Treaty to be signed by all Central Asian countries. The RC Office also arranged the visit of Mr. Francois Fouinat, the Executive Director of the Commission on Human Security and, later, assisted the Commission to set up a Conference on Human Security in Central Asia.
The UN System was also involved in arranging the visits of ESCAP's Executive Secretary Mr. Kim Hak Su and ECE's Executive Secretary Ms. Brigita Schmognegrova and joint participation in the sessions of the Regional Advisory Committee of the UN Special Programme for Economies in Central Asia held in Bishkek.