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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 171
June 26, 2002

In this issue:


  • Update on the activities of the Decentralization Programme
  • Preventive Development in Batken province in cooperation with UNDP Tajikistan


  • Training on bank lending
  • The workshop on incorporating gender mainstreaming into the National Poverty Reduction Strategy paper (NPRSP)


  • Technical assistance to the Talas oblast multisectoral coordination committee on AIDS prevention


  • World Refugee Day celebrated in Kyrgyzstan


  • Measles and Rubella Immunization Campaign in Kyrgyzstan


  • Training seminar on the primary prevention of substance abuse


The process of leaving the old pilot villages and expanding UNDP Decentralization Programme into new ones within the pilot rayons began in the provinces of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Talas. These days the representatives of the Local Governance Programme are visiting the provinces of Osh and Jalal-Abad. They will inspect the newly recommended aiyl okmotus (village’s councils) and sign agreements between local authorities and UNDP on prospective cooperation in area of decentralization and support to local self-governance. The Local Governance Programme will start its activities in nine new aiyl okmotus of the pilot rayons.

On June 21, there was a ceremony on occasion of the opening of the regional office in the Tash-Moinok aiyl okmotu of the pilot Alamedin rayon. The oblast and rayon authorities, representatives of UNDP and programme staff participated in the event. The ceremony began with a meeting for about one hundred people at the local school. Participants of the meeting were informed about the UNDP Local Governance programme activities and handed over grants for the three approved proposals on Micro Capital Grants. The grants are intended for the school and club reconstruction and the construction of a sport hall in the Gornaya Maevka village, and for the replacement of the roof of a school in the Besh-Kungei village of the Tash-Moinok ayil okmotu. After the meeting, aiyl’s information center created by UNVs in partnership with staff of ayil okmotu was introduced to villagers.

A number of trainings are provided in the regions by UNVs for the leaders and managers of the Community Based Organizations (CBOs), heads of pilot and non-pilot ayil okmotus and staff of local self-governments on the “Management of CBOs”, “Principles of the Creation of Information Centers”, and “Development of Initiatives and Partnership with Donor Organizations”. All these trainings help people to better understand the self-governance system and management as a process, and to know much more about donor organizations.

Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:

On June 14, 2002 Mr. Abdiraim Jorokulov, Regional Coordinator of the Preventive Development Programme in Batken, visited Uch-Korgon municipality of the Kadamjai District with an aim to meet with representatives of the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Development Programme (RRDP) of UNDP Tadjikistan and visit the Kara-Kyshtak Boz canal construction site. The RRDP in Tadjikistan is the implementing agency for execution of $25.000 allocated by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency in Bishkek for the construction of the canal. At present, four kilometers of this canal have already been completed. As a result of this project, almost 60 hectares of land will be developed and distributed to poor people. The opening ceremony of this section is planned for June 27. The Representatives of the SDC and RRDP Regional Manager, Mr. Shakh, based in Khujand, and staff of UNDP Kyrgyzstan Preventive Development programme, which have allocated $4.000 for the construction of this section will take part in the ceremony.

The Kara-Kyshtak Boz irrigation canal is the biggest project within the Preventive Development Programme at the present moment. It costs more than nine million soms (about 192 thousand US dollars) where input of the Kyrgyz Government in approximately 60%. The rest will be covered by local communities themselves and grants of SDC and UNDP. After completion of the project five thousand poor families could get access to land which in its turn would help to save peace and harmonious development in Uch-Korgon, the biggest village in Batken province where population is multiethnic with a high rate of unemployment.

Note: The UNDP Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan (PDISK) program started in Batken province in late spring of 2000 and now works in all three districts, more specifically in the municipalities of Batken town, Dara, Khalmion, Uch Korgon and Isfana. Besides identifying social-ethnic conflicts at the grass-roots level on the basis of the Early Warning Indicators (EWI), the project also supports social infrastructure projects (mostly, but not limited to, the most pressing issues: water and irrigation) through community-based organizations and micro-capital grants. The PDISK works in coordination with the Foundation for Tolerance International and the DEZA-SDC funded and UNOPS-executed Rehabilitation of Social Infrastructure programme, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Crisis Group (ICG) and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency. For its infrastructure projects, it cooperates with the Mercy Corps International as well. For detailed information on the project and the communities where it works, the PDISK program has its own homepage at

Contact: Abdraim Jorokulov, Coordinator of the Preventive Development Component, Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:


The effective cooperation with the Kyrgyz Agriculture Finance Corporation (KAFC) resulted in the participation of seven beneficiaries of the UNDP Poverty Alleviation programme in four days training on bank lending. The training started on June 24 at the Banking Training Center and is held by the local consultant and lecturers from the KAFC and the Financial Company on Credit Unions (FCCU). The initiator and the organizer of this training is the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The objective of the training is to deliver information on the role of the banking sector in the development of the economic system, modern banking technology and ways of applying them in Kyrgyzstan (taking into account local conditions and circumstances). The participants will also obtain information on the basics of banking activities, lending practices and major principles of accounting in small farms.

After completion of the theoretical part, the participants will practice filling in loan applications, assessment of business proposals, calculation of financial ratios and conducting the financial analysis. The course will be complemented by information on the lending activities conducted by the KAFC and FCCU. As a follow up to this training it is planned to involve these participants in the next relevant courses to continue building their capacity.

The Workshop on Incorporating Gender Mainstreaming into the National Poverty Reduction Strategy paper (NPRSP) was held on June 22-23 in Bishkek. The workshop was a joint initiative of the Presidential Secretariat of the National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development, and the UNDP Social Governance Programme. It pursued the objective of raising gender awareness of the expert groups working on the elaboration of the NPRSP and of mainstreaming gender perspectives into the content of the strategy document.

Nine qualified gender specialists representing various NGOs, some ministries, and higher educational institutions have assisted with the gender analysis of the document and facilitated workshops in three respective areas: (1) Sustainable economic growth and development, (2) Social Protection and human development, (3) Increasing effectiveness and transparency of the public administration.

37 civil servants from nine ministries and state agencies have participated in discussions on gender aspects in the strategy paper. The immediate output of the seminar was a set of gender comments and recommendations to be included into the text of the strategy. As Mr. K. Kanimetov, Head of the CDF/NPRSP Secretariat and Chief of the Economic Policy Department under the President’s Office noted, the workshop was a success in terms of working on gender approaches of applying new methods of analysis in the document. Participants highly evaluated the results of the seminar and expressed commitment to support gender inclusive attitudes for further finalisation of the NPRSP document.

A coalition of UN agencies, lead by UNFPA, and including WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and ILO-STEP is undertaking a collaborative project approach to improve the quality of sexual and reproductive health care through the empowerment of users. The objective of this project is to increase the knowledge and dignity of consumers regarding their right to sexual and reproductive health, to increase their ability to obtain quality services, and to expand common perspectives of what quality of care entails. In addition, it aims to ensure that individuals, and particularly women, are aware of and have the opportunity to exercise their reproductive rights.

In the framework of this joint project the UNDP Social Governance Programme Management Unit is going to conduct a survey “Possible mechanisms of improving the quality of health care services in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan”. The survey will analyze the existing mechanisms that are already in place and whether the mechanisms have served as a forum for community groups to discuss health related issues in general and SRH issues in particular and to influence the quality of care. In this regard, the PMU is conducting a mini-tender among the specialized research organizations. Based on the tender results the selected organization will develop a questionnaire and undertake a survey in 6 target villages of the Chui, Osh and Talas oblasts.

The survey results and analysis will be published and presented at the stakeholders’ workshop in September this year. The participants of the workshop will review the current situation and determine the interventions to be piloted.

Contact: Sanjar Tursaliev, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Social Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 38 85, 66 04 18; e-mail:


On June 10-15, the National AIDS Center experts under the support of the Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic rendered technical assistance to the Talas oblast multisectoral coordination committee on AIDS prevention.

The experts created a working group out of the representatives of the oblasts departments of education and culture, interior, health, and labor and social protection for the creation of oblast AIDS prevention programmes. They also conducted a seminar for the oblast multisectoral committee and a first sitting of the committee, where the oblast AIDS prevention programme was adopted.

The multisectoral approach is one of the most effective ways of stopping the AIDS epidemic. It comprises work of all departments and state bodies of the country. It takes into account that AIDS is not a medical issue but a social one. At present, only four oblasts out of seven have their own AIDS prevention programmes. The goal of the Joint UN Agencies Programme on AIDS prevention is to strengthen the multisectoral approach in the country at all levels.

Contact: Larissa Bashmakova, Programme Manager, Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic, tel./fax: (996 312) 66 36 91, tel.: (996 312) 66 16 17, e-mail:


Just as we make a special effort to remember our mothers on Mother’s Day, UNHCR wants the world’s refugees to be remembered on their special day. On the 20th of June the world celebrated the World Refugee Day. All over the globe there are more than 21 million refugees today, who because of fear of persecution were forced to leave their home countries. As the UN Secretary-General put it, “let us remind ourselves that one day, any one of us could be knocking at someone else’s door, asking for help”, we should support those people left without home. The majority of the refugees are women and children, and the theme of this year’s celebration is refugee women. The UN Secretary-General in his message pointed out that these women face tremendous challenges to show enormous courage and determination in holding their families together.

In Kyrgyzstan UNHCR established its presence in 1995 and since then has provided care and support to Tajik and Afghan refugees working closely with the Kyrgyz government to develop national capacity to manage refugee protection and assistance. Very recently UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan repatriated the first group of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

On 20 June, the UNHCR office in Bishkek together with the refugee communities organized a series of special events, such as a press briefing and an outdoor cultural festival on the square in front of the Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Together with the Head of the Migration Service Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Office, reported to journalists on the status of refugees in the country. He provided comprehensive data on refugees, places of their accumulation, their problems, concerns and the UNHCR’s future activities with regard to the repatriation of refugees to their home countries.

After the press briefing, James Lynch opened a ceremony at which various Diasporas of the people living in Kyrgyzstan as refugees expressed their art skills in dances and songs. An exhibition of national carpets and other handicrafts was presented to the public, while the children of refugees drew on asphalt. On that special day UNHCR warmly welcomed the public to join, celebrate together and recognize the contribution of refugees to the Kyrgyz society.

Contact: James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Liaison Office. Phone: 61 12 64, 61 12 65, 61 12 66. E-mail:


Measles and Rubella Immunization Campaign in Kyrgyzstan Continues. În 27 June 2002, the News Agency Kabar will host a press-conference on rubella vaccination for women at age of 25-35 planned for the second half of 2002.

This is the fourth and final stage of the National Plan of the Kyrgyz Republic for measles elimination and control of congenital rubella syndrome. In preparation for this event, Dr. Edward Hoekstra, Senior Health Advisor, Global Measles Program from the UNICEF Headquarters in New York, and Dr. Michael Katz, the Vice-President for Research of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, arrived in Bishkek. They will participate in a ‘Zamana’ TV live interactive program, and then together with Ms. L. Shteinke, Deputy Health Minister in the Kyrgyz Republic, Dr. Richard Young, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan, Dr. M. Bozgunchiev, Director of the WHO Information Center, and Dr. Chinara Aidyralieva, UNICEF Program Officer, will meet journalists at the press-conference.

It is very remarkable that for the first time March of Dimes stands out as UNICEF partner. Its interest and participation are conditioned by last year’s successful immunization campaign against measles and rubella for children and young people between the ages of 7 and 25 years. UNICEF coordinated the budget, provided safe immunization equipment, delivered boxes for safe disposal of medical waste and upgraded the cold chain. The main partners of the Kyrgyz Government were UNICEF, WHO, CDC, CIDA, National Society of Red Crescent and the American Red Cross. Vaccination coverage of 98.7% was achieved among the targeted group.

March of Dimes will act as the main donor of the forthcoming campaign. The Foundation was created in 1938. Of the Foundation’s $215 million annual budget, $30 million goes towards scientific research activities. March of Dimes supports projects on education and legislation improvement and also assists in organizing conferences and dissemination of publications în birth defects.

Dr. Michael Katz is responsible for the Foundation’s Global Programs. He has been with the March of Dimes for ten years joining it after he retired from Columbia University where he was Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics. He is now Carpentier Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia. During his career, he was involved in global health care programs and served as consultant to WHO, UNICEF, USAID, CDC, JOICEFP, and other organizations. He is promoting the use of rubella vaccine in order to prevent congenital rubella syndrome, an acquired birth defect that is wholly preventable by the vaccine. “Rubella is a mild disease though in pregnant non-immune women during the first trimester of pregnancy it frequently causes eye, ear or heart birth defects in newborns.”

The guest from the UNICEF Headquarters, Dr. E.Hoekstra worked in Europe, USA, for CDC (USA) and in the Immunization Initiative that covered up to 90% of the population. Dr. Hoekstra was involved in Polio Elimination Programs in China, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Today, all these countries are polio free. “According to the Convention în the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to be vaccinated. One of the UNICEF tasks is to ensure that children do not die from measles. This disease kills 875,000 people every year and makes hundreds of thousands handicapped. At present, UNICEF is working on measles elimination programs in 52 countries to decrease the number of cases and deaths. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the incidence of congenital rubella syndrome is 1 per 1000 live births. This can be easily prevented by the use of rubella vaccine”.

The rubella component may be combined into measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine has been used for more than 20 years in many countries. In some of them, for example the countries of North and South America (except for Columbia and Venezuela), no rubella cases are reported.

In the Kyrgyz Republic from February this year, MMR has been included in the National Immunization Calendar for infants 1-year-old and measles-rubella vaccine for children 6 years old. Kyrgyzstan is therefore complying with the World Health Assembly Program “Health for all in the 21st century”. According to his program, the European Region and CIS should reduce the frequency of congenital rubella syndrome to no more than 1 case per 100,000 live births. With regard to measles, no cases have been registered in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of 2002.

Contact: Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communication Assistant. Phone: (996 312) 61-12-24, 61-12-25. Fax: (996 312) 61-11-91. Email:


On June 20-21, 2002, the training seminar "Primary prevention of substance abuse" under the WHO/EURO support for the representatives of state and non-governmental organizations working in the field of substance abuse prevention was conducted in the National Library in Bishkek. The main purpose of the training seminar was to give explicit information on the prevention of substance abuse, to highlight the latest trends in the field of primary prevention of substance addiction in world practice, to review and discuss the problems of primary prevention in the Republic, to find ways for the improvement of the coordination between nongovernmental and state organizations engaged in solving drug and alcohol addiction problems. Another major aim of the seminar was to discuss opportunities for the realization of projects on the primary prevention of substance abuse in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The training was facilitated by the WHO/EURO medical officer on alcohol and drug programmes, Dr Almaz Imanbaev, and Dr. Jasek Moskalewicz from the Institute of psychiatry and neurology, Warsaw (Poland). On conclusion of the workshop, the participants received a certificate for successful training.

Contact: Cholpon Asambaeva, WHO National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 29 87 98, 29 87 91; e-mail:

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     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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