The United Nations (UN) in Kyrgyzstan
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# 126
February 12, 2001

In this issue:


POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND MICRO-CREDIT

  • UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program Opens Batken Office

PREVENTIVE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF KYRGYZSTAN

  • UNDP Drinking Water Supply Project in Dara Municipality
  • Rehabilitate Social Infrastructure in Mutli-Ethnic Communities: the Uc Kurgan Case
  • UNDP Preventive Development in the South Program Expands to Leilek District

HEALTH CARE

  • Harm Reduction: Still a Lot to Do. (UNDP HIV/AIDS project activity)
  • Update of the WHO Liaison Office activities in Kyrgyzstan

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR-Supported NGO activities

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORMS

  • Press Conference on Functional Review of Executive Bodies in Kyrgyzstan

POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND MICRO-CREDIT

UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program Opens Batken Office - The UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program (PPAP) opened its Batken office on January 22. The micro-credit and social mobilization program is already working in Batken since 1998 and was so far managed by the PPAP team from Osh, to which the present Batken province belonged until late 1999. It is currently active in the village of Jidelik in Kadamjai, and in Kok Tash, Ajbike, Kara-Suu and Kosh Bulak in Leilek district. The new Batken PPAP team consists of 2 national (one of whom worked for PPAP in Suusamyr and Kemin before) and one international UN Volunteers.

Contact: The UN Liaison Office in Batken, c/o Bruno De Cordier, Assistant UN Coordinator. Phone (996 3622) 361.44 or 360.29. E-mail: ; The Gender in Development Bureau in Bishkek at (996 312) 66.04.18 or 66.38.85. E-mail: You can also find more information on the UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program on http://www.undp.kg/ (click: UNDP Programs).

PREVENTIVE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF KYRGYZSTAN

UNDP Drinking Water Supply Project in Dara Municipality to Enhance Social Peace - UNDP's Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan project (PDISK) is currenly preparing the construction of a water pipeline in the municipality of Dara, north of Batken town. In Check village (the municipality's administrative centre) live 714 families or 2,986 people. The village was built as a worker's settlement in 1970 in a semi-desert area when families from the Dara gorge some 50 kilometers higher up were moved there from villages like Kan, Janyryk and Kaindy. At that time, a 13.5 km long water pipe was laid to provide drinking water to the villagers. Due to time - and climate related damages, there is an urgent need to re-construct 4.6 km of water pipe. The most serious problem is that the channel also crosses a garbage dump for about 1 kilometer (the dump was formed after the construction of the water line making a water line), right where the line has which has many damaged spots.

Subsequently, there is a high risk of direct dust infiltration in the water which, in turn, increase the risk of all sorts of epidemia (e.g. viral hepatitis, scab and others) in Chek. In Winter, the water supply from the Tort-Gul reservoir (10 km west of Batken) comes to a halt and the people have to buy drinking water in nearby Batken, which not everyone can afford it because of poverty which, in a place like Chek (which is entirely Kyrgyz), stands as high as 85%. The water supply problem also creates conflicts in the community: for instance, people living upstream do their laundry, dishwashing and let cattle wallow in the water, thus polluting the water for those living further downstream.

The people long relied on the authorities for the maintenance of their drinking water supply and water line repair, but start to realise lately that they can only rely on themselves. So a newly formed UNDP-supported cummunity organization came up with a project to rehabilitate the 4.6 kilometer long water pipeline in Chek village in cooperation with the municipality and its Water Users Committee (WUC). The project, called Suu bul Omur ('water is life' in Kyrgyz) consists of two phases. The first one focuses on the reconstruction of 2.8 kilometers of the water line. The proposed new route avoids the dump and joins an existing water pipe. This will take 2 months. The second phase will start in Spring and consists of re-construction of 1.7 kilometers of water line, which will take 1.5 months more.

The Suu bul Omur-project costs 433,901 Som (US$ 8,855). The Dara municipality contributes 86,745 Som (US$ 1,770), the district administration and council 12,780 Som (US$ 260), the province 10,000 Som (US$ 205), the community itself 131,646 Som (US$ 2,700). The UNDP PDISK brings in 192,730 Som (US$ 3,900). For the project's implementation, the PDISK plans to cooperate with Mercy Corps International (MCI), who has a large experience in carrying out community building projects (schools, water systems:) in the South. MCI has cooperated in a similar way with the UNDP Decentralization and Support to Local Governance Program for a school construction project in Jalal-Abad province.

Rehabilitate Social Infrastructure in Mutli-Ethnic Communities: the Uc Kurgan Case - Uc Kurgan is a municipality of some 26,000 inhabitants and lays close to the Southern mining town of Kyzyl-Kia. It is one of the four pilot communities of UNDP's Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan project (PDISK). Uc Kurgan has the peculiarity that 62.6% of its population are ethnic Tajiks, descendents of migrants who came from Samarkand some 300 years ago. Kyrgyz stand for 21.5% while the rest are Uzbeks, ethnic Turks and Slavs. Of the 9 villages in this municipality, only Uc Kurgan and Kalaca have a functioning drinking water system. The others generally take water from street channels. The village of Kakyr, for example, urgently needs a water supply system since 2,114 people (312 households) live there. The village is situated at the end of the 20 kilometer long Ankhor channel from which people use water to cook. Since the water is unsafe to drink, there is a growing number of infectious diseases such as itch, goiter, tuberculosis and asthma.

Like in many places in the South, social-ethnic tensions, which are particularly volatile in a multi-ethnic community like this one, are very often related to safe water supply. People living upstream often wash clothes an dishes, while those downstream have took cook and drink the thus polluted water. So it is necessary to complete the construction of the water supply system in Kakyr, works which has been started in 1995. As of today, some 1,3 million Som (US$ 26,500) has been invested in the system, but the usual lack of funding made it impossible to install a water tower, bactericide equipment and more water pipes to connect it with the canal.

A community organization called Kakyr prepared a water system construction project, which needs 136,925 Som (US$ 2,800) more to complete the works. The municipality contributed 24,340 Som, while private donations brought in 38,175 Som more. The district and province administration gave 7,320 and 4,440 Som respectively. The UNDP PDISK program brought in the remaining 62,650 Som for the purchase of pipes and electric equipment. The completion of the water system is more than an infrastructure project, but aims to solve broader social-economic problems such as a steady drinking water supply, maintenance with work places and decrease of social-ethnic tension connected with water.

In late 2000, following a UN-facilitated visit of one of its Istanbul-based correspondents to the South, The New York Times contributed US$ 1,800 to repair the roof of the multi-ethnic Pushkin school in Uc Kurgan. This project was set up by the community organization Umut ('perseverance' in Kyrgyz) and implemented in cooperation with the school istelf, the municipality and district administration and Mercy Corps International' s 'Food for Work' Program.

UNDP Preventive Development in the South Program Expands to Leilek District - UNDP's Preventive Development in the South (PDISK) program has recruited a new Community Development Officer who is to be posted in Isfana, the administrative center of the remote Leilek district. The PDISK thus now covers all districts of Batken province. Since March 2000, grass-roots based PDISK Community Development Officers are active in the ayil okmotu (municipalities) of Uc Kurgan and Khalmion in Kadamjai, and in Batken town and Dara municipality in Batken district.

Contact: The Preventive Development Center and the UN Liaison Office in Batken. Phone (996 3622) 361.44 or 360.29. E-mail: or You can find more information on UNDP's Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan project on on the project's website at http://www.pdsouth.elcat.kg/ and on UNDP's homepage at http://www.undp.kg/ (click 'UNDP Programs').

HEALTH CARE

Harm Reduction: Still a Lot to Do. Since 1999 the Harm Reduction Programme targeted at the injecting drug users has been successfully launched and implemented within the framework of the Joint UNDP/UNAIDS/Government AIDS Project, and financed by the Soros Foundation. The programme has covered over 2000 drug users, including 500 addicts from Bishkek and more than 200 addicts from Osh, who regularly visited syringe exchange sites. Over 400,000 syringes were exchanged.

The Successful start of harm reduction in the Kyrgyzstan enabled the Soros Foundation to raise more funds for its continuation in 2001. However, in 2000, the programme covered only 2% of the estimated number of injecting drug addicts. In this regard, resource mobilization for the expansion and continuation of the intervention among this vulnerable group is considered to be quite an important issue. It is worth noticing that this aspect was one of the most significant component of the National Strategic Plan, developed by the Coordination Commission under the President's Office, as well as by a group of national and international experts. Moreover, the programme of methadone substitute therapy has been developed in the country addressing the HIV epidemic prevention among injecting drug users.

At present, injecting drug abuse is prevalent in terms of HIV spread all over post-Soviet countries. As per UNAIDS experts' conclusion, in 1999-2000 the rate of infection in Eastern European and Central Asian countries is tremendous and is uppermost worldwide. Thus, in Russian Federation in 1987-1998, 5,000 HIV-infected were registered; in 1999 - 25,000, and in 2000 around 50,000 cases were registered. It means that the total number of HIV-infected is more than 80,000 people. In reality, the experts estimate this number to be 500,000. With this rate of infection, they consider 50% of the Russian population to be HIV-infected in 10 years.

As injecting drug users is the most vulnerable group, harm reduction among them should be urgently started. What has been done in Kyrgyzstan in this field is quite important, though it does not solve the issue, as harm reduction should cover not less than 60% of the addicts. That is why funds are necessary to be raised to expand and develop the program.

A Special Session of UN General Assembly dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention measures and aspects will be held in June 2001 with the participation of high officials from all over the world. UNDP/UNAIDS/Government AIDS Project, working within the framework of the National Programme, welcomes all interested parties to discuss and work on HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in the Kyrgyz Republic. The received opinions and proposals will be included in the final version of the National Strategic Programme on AIDS prevention in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2001-2005.

Contact: Mrs. Larissa Bashmakova, National Project Manager, tel./fax: (996 312) 66-36-91, tel.: (996 312) 22-03-84, e-mail:

Up-date of the WHO Liaison Office activity in Kyrgyzstan. Within the framework of the WHO cooperation with Kyrgyz Republic in the field of drug policy, two-week training courses on Rational Drug Use for the specialists on family medicine and the faculty of family medicine of Medical Academy started on 12 February, in the premises of the National Center of Continuous Training for Medical Staff and Pharmaceutical Specialists. This courses will be facilitated by Dr. Stefan Londsdale and Dr. Hilbrand Haak, WHO experts. The main aim of these courses is to train the trainers among family physicians on the efficient and rational treatment of the most frequent diseases. The part of the courses will be devoted to the issues of family medicine and primary health care. Another part of the courses will be dedicated to the training of the new educational and technical methods of the rational drug use and prescription. The participants of the training would be exposed to the interactive ways of learning and teaching. According to Dr. Londsdale, the training of the professional trainers for further training of local specialists is the main outcome of this course.

On 9 February the workshop on Clinical protocols and guidelines on Rational Drug Use took place in the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic. The representatives and chief specialists of the Ministry of Health, the representatives of Scientific Research Institutes and Centers, the heads of the Pharmacology Department of the Medical Academy participated at this workshop. According to the findings of the discussion, twenty diseases were identified on which the first clinical protocols and guidelines will be developed in future for the primary health care level. The criteria and the dates of their adoption were also considered.

Contact: Ms. Cholpon Asanbaeva, NPO, WHO. 62 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: (996 312) 29-87-98, 29-87-91. Fax: (996 312) 68-09-40. Email:

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR/EU-Supported NGO activities. To ensure efficient participation of the NGO community in implementing Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and National Strategy on Poverty Alleviation (NSPA) Counterpart Consortium in collaboration with Civil Society Support Centers conducted 36 round tables in 8 cities and 23 villages from 19 rayons and 7 oblasts. Round tables are hold within the "Participation and Partnership Plan" Program funded through the World Bank. On February 15-16, 2001 the CSSCs will conduct 8 round tables on a regional level in all oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic. The purpose of round tables is to design mechanisms and forms for civil society organizations, business and governmental agencies to work as partners under the CDF and NSPA programs. At the round tables the matrix of partnership will be designed and it will describe the role, resources and expectations of each partner.

On February 6, 2001 the Issyk-Kul Civil Society Support Center held round tables in 4 villages (Kyzyl-Suu, Jele-Dobo, Chelpek and Mikhailovka) of the Issyk-Kul region. The total number of participants representing the NGO sector, businesses and governmental agencies was 87 people. The number of round table participants in the Chui Oblast was 146 people. They were held in Jer-Kazar, Tuz, Ivanonka, Toktonaliev, Eferonos, Ak-Bashat villages and Kara-Balta. In the Naryn Oblast the round tables were conducted in Kochkor, At-Bashi, Baetovo villages and Naryn town. The participants discussed the following issues:

  • defined the NGO contribution in implementing CDF and HSPA in the form of projects, programs, various initiatives and actions that have been implemented or may be implemented as part of CDF and NSPA.
  • outlined mechanisms and forms of partnership/participation for all sectors of society in implementing CDF and NSPA; determined additional measures for implementing both programs in close collaboration with non-profit organizations.
  • collected comments of NGOs on CDF and NSPA.

Round tables were held to design tools for better involvement of the NGO community in CDF and NSPA programs, getting feedback on a governmental level as well as give an opportunity for community-based organizations to actively participate in discussions. All recommendations and suggestions will be collected, analyzed and submitted to the Steering Committee on CDF and NSPA. The final draft of CDF and NSPA will be presented at a National Forum in March 2001. The Forum will be held with participation of Ministries, governmental agencies, the KR Parliament, non-profit organizations, businesses, mass media, international organizations and donors.

Civil Society Support Center, Jalal-Abad. The CSCC in Jalal-Abad established a Volunteer Center and selected a volunteer to manage a volunteer movement in the region. The Center was opened under the Program of Civil Society and NGO Development in the Central Asia Region funded through USAID. The CSSC designed a work plan for the Volunteer Center. Currently there are three volunteers who develop promotional materials (booklets, newsletters) about volunteer activities and distribute volunteer-related information through mass media of the Jalal-Abad region.

On February 7-9, 2001 trainers of Counterpart Consortium conducted a Participatory Community Appraisal workshop in the town of Karakol. The training took place in the office of Helvetas. 23 people participated in the workshop. All of them were representatives of the NGO community of the Issyk-Kul region. The purpose of the workshop was to train trainers to conduct PCA. The training was organized by Counterpart Consortium under the Community Mobilization Program funded through USAID. The program is aimed at capacity building of community-based organizations through mobilizing own members and resources and active involvement of local communities in decision making. A similar training was held in Jalal-Abad on February 4-6, 2001. 13 people representing local NGOs participated in the workshop.

On February 4-6, 2001 a two-day training "NGO and Community" was held for 20 NGO representatives in the training room of Counterpart Consortium. During the workshop the trainers and participants analyzed the relationship of the third sector with other sectors of society, identified the role of NGOs in a democratic and civil society as well as discussed other issues such as:

  • the role of NGOs in local, national and international development.
  • NGO mission and clents
  • NGO values
  • NGO sustainable development

The workshop was held under the training program of Counterpart Consortium funded through USAID.

On October 5, 2000 corporation 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) announced the beginning of the largest ever done public survey all over the world via the Internet. Planet Project Survey was held during 4 days (from November 15 through November 18, 2000) in 8 languages - Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. For the first time Planet Project provided peoples from different ethnic groups, cultural backgrounds and ages with an opportunity to share their views and opinions on many issues and many topics. 5 people from Kyrgyzstan were selected as project participants. Among them are Marat Nusurov, Information Systems Manger, Counterpart Consortium, Raisa Kulatova, NGO Central Asian Information Center, Nurdin Satarov, Manger of the Civil Society Support Center, Naryn, Kazbek Abraliev, volunteer of the Civil Society Support Center, Kara-Balta and Kubanychbek Satuev, NGO For International Tolerance, Batken. The survey was initiated by the UN program that is aimed at promoting the dialogue among the nations. Based on the results of the survey, fifty interviewers were selected for special prizes including cash prizes and among the awardees is Kazbek Abraliev from Kara-Balta.

Contact: Counterpart Consortium, Lilia Kuchenova, IU/AUK Program Coordinator, Information Coordinator of NGO, 107 Kievskaya str., 5th floor, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Phone: 996(312) 610 135, 610 022, 664 636 Fax: 996(312) 610 021 Email: Internet: http://www.cango.net.kg/

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORMS

Press Conference on Conducting Functional Review of Executive Bodies in Kyrgyzstan. On February 9, 2001 a press conference on Conducting Functional review of executive bodies was held in National Press Agency "Kabar". The press conference was initiated by Working Group under the National Council on Public Administration and Civil Service Reform. The Working Group acts within the UNDP Kyrgyzstan Public Administration Reforms project.

The Press Conference had an objective of presenting the initial results and recommendations of the following:

  • functional review for the President's and Prime Minister's Offices;
  • review of common functions (personnel, legal, internal audit, finance) for selected ministries.

The other objective was to inform Media on the ongoing process of public administration reform. As Ms. Mira Jangaracheva, Head of the Working Group, informed Kyrgyz journalists, the functional review showed that to improve governance efficiency it is necessary first of all to strengthen internal capacity of ministries and agencies, create a sustainable and professional "horizontal" management system and re-allocate public functions. This will allow eliminating duplication of functions, increasing efficiency of civil service performance, creating necessary coordination mechanisms, and saving funds on maintenance of public apparatus. Any cuts of administrative structures, their merging or abolishment, should result from functional streamlining, transferring some functions of central bodies to the lower level of administration, private sector or NGO. The Working Group proposed and launched during the National Round Table on 2 February 2001 also the methodology for decision makers on how to implement suggestions of Functional Review in practice.

Contact: Mr. Suyumbek Syrdybayev, Member of the Working Group, at Tel.: (996 312) 66-46-34, 66-21-08 and fax (996 312) 66-05-73. Email:

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