The United Nations (UN) in Kyrgyzstan
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# 128
February 26, 2001

In this issue:


DECENTRALIZATION

  • AGFUND supports to UNDP Decentralization Efforts to Community Development

CRIME PREVENTION

  • A survey "Corruption in Kyrgyzstan" published and launched on 21 February 2001 in Bishkek

GENDER IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Training on Facilitation Skills
  • Training of Trainers in Gender

HEALTH CARE

  • Situation on HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

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

REFUGEES AND MIGRATION

  • A cycle of 12 Radio programmes on refugee matters is launched
  • UNHCR resumes its voluntary repatriation programmes for 2001

DECENTRALIZATION

AGFUND supports to UNDP Decentralization Efforts to Community Development. The Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is co-funding UNDP programs aimed at reducing poverty, promoting small business development and providing micro loans for rural women. Founded in 1981 on the initiative of its President, Prince Talal Bin Abdul Azziz of Saudi Arabia, AGFUND members include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The organization supports sustainable human development efforts in developing countries, focusing on the neediest groups, especially women and children.

Kyrgyzstan is one of the three countries that were awarded the fund for the year 2001. AGFUND is providing $150,000 for the UNDP-supported Decentralization Programme working with community organizations in rural areas that promote income-generating activities, part of a broader decentralization effort by the government.

The UNDP-supported Decentralization Programme began implementation in the Kyrgyz Republic in the second half of 1998. One of the major objectives of the Programme is to support to the communities to mobilize them into their own organization to initiate local development efforts to fulfil the local needs of the villages of Kyrgyzstan.

UNDP supported Decentralization Programme will continue its efforts on strengthening the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) as grass root level self governing institutions that take the responsibility of local development initiatives. As a result of the formation of such broad based grass root level organizations in the villages of Kyrgyzstan, in the first two years of project implementation, community members had focused their efforts on social infrastructure projects like construction and rehabilitation of drinking water, schools, public bath, health centers, bridge, roads and irrigation canals that served the wider public so that all of the members of the community could receive the benefits of the projects planned and carried out by the people,

However, along with the social development needs of the community, members of CBOs are now realizing the need for fulfilling the economic needs of the poorest and disadvantage members of the community. To satisfy the economical needs of community organizations as well as individual members within the community, it has been recognized that there is a need for initiating micro-enterprises that are aimed at income generating for the members of the CBOs. The implementation of the combination of social infrastructure development projects and income generating projects in a community with the involvement of the grass root level peoples' organization will support the community to fulfil individual and collective social and economic development needs of the community.

Realizing the need to fulfil the economic needs of the Community along with the social needs, the UNDP Decentralization Progarmme submitted a proposal for supporting the economic needs through the promotion and implementation of income generating activities collectively planned and carried out by the CBOs at the village level.

The proposal was approved by the Forty Fourth Meeting of AGFUND Administrative Committee. The proposal submitted by UNDP Decentralization Programme is among 20 selected by AGFUND from among 688 projects submitted by international organizations.

Contact: UNDP/UNV Decentralization Program, Kalyan Pandey, Chief Technical Advisor, Government House, 205 Prospekt Chui, Bishkek. Phone: (996 312) 66-00-80, E-mail: General information on the UNDP/UNV Decentralization Program can be found on the UNDP Internet homepage at http://www.undp.kg/ (see'UNDP activities') and DP Internet webpage http://www.dppiu.elcat.kg/

CRIME PREVENTION

UNDP Kyrgyzstan Sponsors A Survey "Corruption in Kyrgyzstan". The presentation of the survey took place on 21 February 2001 in Bishkek. A broad level of government officials, including representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of the Prosecutor, the Highest Arbitrage Court, various ministries, Offices of the President and Prime Minister, as well as donor organizations, NGOs and mass media were invited.

Corruption, as a serious menace to the development of any society, becomes more and more relevant for Kyrgyzstan. As the authors of the survey demonstrate, every fourth Kyrgyz resident believes Kyrgyzstan is the most corrupt country, and one third of the respondents are definite that corruption and weakness of government institutions are the main obstacles on the path of economic reform. During the survey, people from various layers of the Kyrgyz society came up with sundry of opinions regarding the roots of corruption. They include economy crisis, legislation gaps, low salaries of government officials and low moral values. All the respondents, however, were unanimous that the original cause of corruption is in the government itself, because the status and parameters of society's economic, social and spiritual activities depend first and foremost on the "health" status of the government.

As the bulk of the respondents do not believe that the government feels like starting to fight corruption, 77 percent of them think corruption in the country can be significantly downscaled. The authors of the report call for the onset of fighting this evil with restoration of respect and trust towards government through making public the decisions against official crime and inevitability of penalty. The report makes a special accent on the media as the most significant tool in fighting corruption.

The report has been written by an independent NGO, "The Center for Public Opinion Studies and Forecasts", and has been commissioned by the UNDP Crime Prevention Project and its executive agency, the Chief Directorate for Fighting Organized Crime of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Internal Affairs. During the survey the Center cooperated with the Center for Transnational Crime and Corruption with the American University at Washington, DC, the Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies, the Azerbaijani Foundation for Enterprise and Market Economy, and materials form International Anti-Corruption workshops held in Russia.

Contact: Mr. Alexander Kashkarev, National Program Coordinator, UNDP Kyrgyzstan at 996 312 22-68-23, 22-75-43. E-mail:

GENDER IN DEVELOPMENT

Participatory Poverty Alleviation Program. Raymond Clark, a renowned expert on participatory techniques, conducted training on Facilitation Skills in the context of Participatory Poverty Alleviation Program (PPAP) last week. The training that took place within the period of February 15-22 and addressed the needs of UNVs and GID Bureau staff for better facilitation skills.

Following the evaluation of PPAP in March 2000 it was recognised by the Programme personnel that there was a crucial need to improve facilitation skills of all the staff. That would significantly improve the effectiveness of working directly with communities, particularly in motivating them for self-reliance.

The distinctive feature of the training was its participatory nature. Thereby the participants spent the first day to jointly assess their training needs. Based on the results of the assessment and recommendations of the previous day, a smaller team of UNVs and GID Bureau staff identified priority topics and developed the training program. The program assumed participation of UNVs and GID Bureau staff as facilitators of the training, which would strengthen their theoretical knowledge through putting it into practice while learning.

The training resulted in significant improvement of facilitation skills of 32 staff members and served as a good team building exercise for programme personnel. Training Manual with description of methods and tools used at the training is to be prepared in the nearest time.

Contact: Mr. Nazim Turdumambetov, UNDP GID Bureau PIO, Isanova 24, office #1, Bishkek. Tel.: +996(312) 66-38-85. Fax: +996(312) 66-05-20. Email:

Training of Trainers (TOT) in Gender. Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries in CIS to start working towards gender mainstreaming. Although the concept is new in the region, the interest towards it and understanding are growing while the mechanisms and infrastructure is being institutionalized. In 1998, a National Council on Gender Policy was established under the auspices of the President's Administration, by a special presidential decree. The UNDP Gender in Development Bureau, a project implementation unit, collaborates with the Council through its Promoting Women in Leadership project aiming to create enabling environment for achieving gender equality in Kyrgyzstan. The present focus of the project is on mainstreaming of national policies and programmes, with the accent being done on sensitization and building of national capacity in gender training. As a first step, Training of Trainers was conducted by Dr Ayvazova S. and Dr. Shvedova N. from Moscow on 10-15 February 2001, for selected trainers and national United Nations Volunteers working with the GID Bureau at national and regional level. It is envisaged that this group will further conduct Orientation sessions for key staff of pilot sectors selected for this initiative: the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Internal Affairs, and Agriculture and Water Resources. Representatives of pilot ministries participated at the TOT and worked out, together with trainers, joint strategy and recommendations for future work.

Contact: Dona Abdurazakova, GID Bureau Project Coordinator, Pushkin str., 78, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, tel.: +996(312) 66-38-85, fax: +996(312) 66-05-20, e-mail:

HEALTH CARE

Situation on HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic - Facing Epidemic. Profound changes in HIV/AIDS situation took place in the Kyrgyz Republic last week, and, depending on further development of events, it may be characterized as beginning of the epidemic in the country. Six out of seven sera sent to Almaty for confirmation of HIV diagnosis, turned out to be HIV-positive. One more case showed a dubious result. Thus, five people from Osh and one from Jail district, Chui Province, are confirmed to have HIV-infection. The most dangerous fact is that they got infected through injecting drug abuse.

As of February 26, 2001, there are 61 officially registered cases of HIV-infection (plus one dubious); among them 20 are local citizens (plus one dubious). For almost three months - from November 2000 through February 2001, there have been 10 local cases in the country; whereas from 1987 through November 2000 there were only 11 local cases. The majority of this number (16 people) got infected through injecting drug abuse. As a matter of fact, in 2000-2001 all cases exposed are connected with injecting drug abuse. Official data do not reflect the real situation. As per UNAIDS experts estimation the real number of HIV-infected is ten, or even more, times higher.

Since 1999 the UNDP's AIDS Project has been working on harm reduction programs. The Minister of Health has signed an Order on development of methadone substitute therapy. At the same time, this program is of pilot character and can cover no more than 5 percent of injecting drug users and it can not substantially influence upon epidemiological situation.

Urgent and drastic measures should be taken in order to prevent economic and social consequences of the epidemic.

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 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:

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR/EU-Supported NGO activities. Civil Society Support Center, Karakol. On February 17, 2001 the NGO Leader (Karakol, 3 International Str., 142, #6) opened an Issyk-Kul regional public center to access the Internet. The center was established under financial and technical support from IREX (IATP program administered by IREX and sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Access). The goal of this program is to increase the number of Internet users and improve their skills. Fifteen people including deputies, representatives of the NGO community and mass media attended the opening ceremony. Users can get the access to the Internet for free and for those who do not have skills the NGO offers free training workshops in the use of e-mail and Internet. Those who would like to get the access to the Center may contact on the telephone (03922) 5 04 07. Address: Karakol, 3 International Str., 142/b.

Civil Society Support Center of the Jalal-Abad Region organized a training workshop "Project Design". The workshop was held on February 20, 2001. The three-day training was attended by 18 participants representing the NGO community, initiative groups and governmental agencies. The trainers trained the participants how to write proposals that meet the requirements of Counterpart Consortium and other donor organizations in order to attract resources and funding for their projects.

The following issues were also considered:

  • problem statement
  • needs assessment and data collection
  • goal and objective setting
  • project budget
  • project monitoring and evaluation

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

Two training workshops "NGO and Community" were held by the Civil Society Support Centers in Naryn and Karakol. ) On February 22-23, 2001 the workshop was held in the village Kochkorka in the building of Kara-Koo school. The training was attended by 21 people, mostly NGO and CBO members and governmental agencies. In Osh the workshop took place on February 19-20, 2001 in the city library. The workshop was attended by 17 NGO members and community-based organizations. The participants discussed a number of issues such as:

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

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

Training Workshop "Participatory Community Appraisal". On February 20-22, 2001 CSSC "Consulting" conducted the workshop Participatory Community Appraisal. The workshop was held under the Program of Civil Society and NDO development in the Central Asian Region through funding provided by USAID. The workshop was held in Kara-Balta town at medical school for NGOs and CBOs with the purpose to train participants in PCA techniques. The workshop was attended by 24 people from Panfilov, Jaiyl and Moskovski rayon. During two days the participants received information on PRA. During the third day the participants made a site visit to the village Sosnovka to conduct PCA. 86 people from local communities got together and were divided in groups (25 men, 15 women and 46 young people). Data collected at the workshop will be analyzed and reflected in a report that will be given to a local community. It is expected that trained facilitators will conduct PCAs in communities of Jaiyl, Panfilov ad Moskovski areas.

On February 21-22 International Center InterBilim, a partner of Counterpart Consortium, in collaboration with ADRA held a republican seminar "Responding to Emergency Situations". The seminar was organized with the purpose to unite efforts of governmental agencies, NGOs, international organizations and mass media to develop mechanisms of social partnership while designing the strategy of emergency situations management. Representatives of Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, NGO community, international organizations and mass media were invite to the workshop. During two days the participants tried to design mechanisms for establishing partnership relations and major components for the strategy of emergency situations management. The seminar was over on February 22 and as a result of the seminar the following accomplishments were made.

  • the participants need to realize the importance of social partnership in emergency situations
  • the participants acquired tools to respond to emergencies

In order to ensure participation of the NGO community in the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and National Strategy on Poverty Alleviation (NSPA) to a fuller extent Counterpart Consortium through funding provided by the World Bank conducted round tables on February 19, 2001. The purpose of the round table is to design forms and mechanisms of participation and partnership of the civil society with other sectors in CDF and NSPA. At the round tables the participants were expected to design a matrix of partnership that describes the role, resources and expectations of all partners in implementation and monitoring of CDF/NSPA. There were 32 participants at the round table mostly from NGOs such as National Council on Development, Fund of Legal Problems, Bishkek Center of Social Initiatives, Association of Tax Consultants, Sezim Crises Center, NGO Coalition and Association, Association of Condominiums, women's NGOs, etc. During the discussion the participants seriously criticized the content and structure of CDF and NSPA projects as well as matrix of activities. They refused to fill out the matrix of the NGO contribution in CDF/NSPA implementation and offered to organize a meeting with the team that worked on project design. As a result of the meeting it was decided to conduct a consultative meeting on February 24, 2001 in the small assembly hall of the Ministry of Finances for the round table participants and the designing team. At the meeting Mr. Kanemetov, Deputy Minister of Fiancees, and Mr. L. Komarover, Head of the Department of Economic Analysis and Prognosis under the Apparatus of Prime-Minister, will be present. The purpose of the meeting is as follows:

  • contribution of civil society in CDF and NSPA development;
  • determining contribution of the civil society on the stage of projects implementation and monitoring.

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/

REFUGEES AND MIGRATION

A series of 12 radio programmes on refugees is launched. Last week, UNHCR and Intergovernmental Radio and TV Company "Mir" launched a series of 12 radio programmes devoted to various refugee issues. The Radio programmes, each 10 minutes long, are aimed to raise general public awareness on the plight of refugees in the Kyrgyz Republic and to build a positive image of refugees living in the country, including the contribution they make to the communities in which they reside. In addition, the programmes will focus on developing an accurate understanding of Afghan and Chechen refugees, who are often perceived with xenophobia. Finally, UNHCR will use the programmes to deliver information on UNHCR-sponsored projects to refugees.

In Kyrgyzstan, the programmes will be broadcast weekly on three channels:

  • 1st programme of the Kyrgyz State Radio - FM 103.7, VHF 67.94, SW 4010 at 14:30 on Sundays
  • 2nd programme of the Kyrgyz State Radio - Fm 103.7, VHF 66.38
  • "Pyramid" TV and Radio Programme - FM 105.0

UNHCR resumes its voluntary repatriation programmes for 2001. UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan has recently resumed its voluntary repatriation programme for Tajik refugees by returning 53 persons to Dushanbe by air. As usual, repatriates are provided with a repatriation assistance package including paid transportation for people and their belongings and small cash allowances to help them survive their first few months in Tajikistan while they are re-establishing themselves. Over the next two months, UNHCR, with the assistance of the Migration Services Department of the MFA, will arrange the repatriation movements of some 20 refugees weekly.

In spring, when climate allows, UNHCR will resume repatriation of Tajik refugees to Jerghital region of Tajikistan via southern provinces of Kyrgyzstan.

UNHCR is planning for 2001 to be the final year of conducting the voluntary repatriation programme. It is predicted that approximately 1,500 refugees will return home by December 2001. Over the last three years of implementing the programme (1998-2000), UNHCR has assisted around 4,000 Tajik refugees to repatriate.

Contact: Mrs. Elizabeth Zalkind, Public Information Assistant, UNHCR. 184 Moskovskaya Street # 2, Bishkek 720010. Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: (996 312) 21-33-28, 21-27-32, 65-12-73. Fax: 66-18-40. Email:

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