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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 187
April 11, 2003

In this issue:


  • 2002 UNECE Excellent Women Entrepreneurs Award


  • UNDP Decentralization Programme’s Activities in Nariman


  • The Training on Reproductive and Sexual Rights


  • Iodine Deficiency Problem: Entertaining Musicals Performed by the Children’s Musical Theatre “Taberik”


  • Press Conference Dedicated to the World Tuberculosis Day


On April 9 the UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz presented the Diploma and DELANCE Swiss watches to Ratkan Israilova, the winner of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) award. She was nominated for the Grand Prix earlier as the Best Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year at the second International Forum of Women-Entrepreneurs held under the aegis of the UN European Economic Commission 13-18 March, 2003 in Geneva.

The contest was organized in recognition of the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the economic development and social progress of their countries. Businesswomen, representatives of business associations, policy makers in small and medium entrepreneurship from many countries of the globe, and representatives of UN agencies participated in the Forum. Ms. Gulnara Baimambetova, director of the Association for support to Kyrgyz businesswomen, also took part in the event.

The issue of the businesswomen’s access to credit resources and information technologies was discussed among other most important issues at the Forum. The UN Economic Commission fro Europe proposed a number of actions to support women’s and women associations’ entrepreneur initiatives.

The Forum participants had an opportunity not only to share their successful experience, but also to discuss the obstacles that hold back the development of women entrepreneurship in their respective countries.

The credit union Kairat Bol established in 1998 currently consists of 320 members. 70 percent, or the credit union’s members, are rural farmers and peasants; out of them 60 percent are women. The purpose of the credit union’s establishment was to start up a plant for dried milk production in the city of Uzgen. The union’s loan portfolio currently amounts to more than 5,000,000 som, and its credit reserves amount to more than 1,400,000 som. Thanks to Kairat Bol more than 300 people were employed. The credit union supports Uzgen rayon’s orphaned children and the Republican boarding school for orphaned children located in Myrzake village in Osh oblast. Last year the credit union helped a young but very talented deaf and dumb artist Hantemir Akimjanov to participate in the World contest for young artists where he received the second prize. Currently the credit union is working as the Asian Development Bank and GTZ’s Microbanker pilot programme.

Contact: Aikan Mukanbetova, UNDP National Programme Analyst. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13. Fax: (996 312) 61 12 17. Email:


All villagers of Alim Tepe in Nariman aiyl okmotu, Osh region, worked hard on improving of the village’s appearance for the traditional spring holiday Nooruz, which is celebrated in Central Asia on 21 March.

The action Plant two trees instead of one cut down got blessing by aksakals, the eldest and the most respectable villagers. The initiative was supported in other villagers as well, and finally they planted about ten thousand fruit, decorative trees and flowers.

“Thanks to these trees and flowers that will be taken care of by all villagers, we will protect ourselves from summer heat and dust. And we became more united when parents were planting trees and flowers together with their children. It is also a vivid example of careful attitude towards nature. Today nobody will dare break a tree branch, because he or she had planted the tree and took care about it”, said Muradyl Samsakov, chair of Nariman aiyl okmotu, after that special day.

Fourteen community organizations established in Alim Tepe with the help of UNDP Decentralization programme united the villagers. The programme has been functioning in the aiyl okmotu since 1999. During that period more than a hundred community organizations were established in fifteen villages under this aiyl okmotu. All of them possess their own savings funds with the total amount of almost 420,000 som (about US$ 10,000). The villagers use the money for satisfying common needs of villages and community organizations’ members, including their own micro credit programs.

Moreover, in November 2001, Local Development Fund Aikol Nariman was established in Nariman aiyl okmotu with UNDP support, with the Fund’s capital amounting to 580,000 som at present. 80 percent of these resources were provided by UNDP, whereas aiyl okmotu and villagers contributed the rest. The Fund supports community organizations’ initiatives on establishment of small businesses, mainly in the field of agricultural production processing.

Thanks to the Fund, the villagers have already established a macaroni factory, a mill, furniture and garment factories, and farms for growing cattle, sheep, and goats in villages under Nariman aiyl okmotu. Twelve economic projects financed by the Fund allowed providing with job more than 150 people.

Since the beginning of the programme’s activity, fifteen projects on improvement of villages’ infrastructure were also accomplished in the Nariman aiyl okmotu. Villagers built several schools, public bathhouses, water-supply networks, and repaired heating systems in schools with the support of local governments and tireless UN volunteers.

In May 2003, they will start building a new school in Alim Tepe. The unique village, in which the whole adult population participates in community organizations’ activities, has 560 children of school age. They study in the old school’s small building, which accommodates only 150 people. Therefore, at the meeting villagers unanimously decided that a new school is the village’s major priority today. The aiyl okmotu supported the villages’ initiative, and allotted 650,000 som to the Association of Community Organizations for project implementation. UNDP granted 130,000 som, but the villagers collected the largest contribution, 790,000 som, on their own.

The Nariman aiyl okmotu’s experience is being broadly disseminated throughout the Osh oblast. On 28 March 2003, more than eighty people participated in the seminar on local governance in Nariman, including chairs and staff of aiyl okmotus, representatives of the oblast administration, and UN volunteers. At the seminar participants discussed the accumulated work experience, advantages of joint planning which is practiced in all pilot villages within the framework of UNDP Decentralization programme, and ways to jointly solve the village problems building relationships with local state administrations. The seminar participants also visited villages, saw the constructed objects, and met with leaders of community organizations.

Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager; UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 11 76, 66 48 64; e-mail:


Training on reproductive and sexual rights in Kyrgyzstan

On 29 - 31 March 2003 within the joint UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/ILO project “Improving the quality of sexual and reproductive health care through empowering users” the training on reproductive and sexual rights in Kyrgyzstan was held in the UN House.

The program of the training included sessions on the mechanisms of reproductive and sexual rights fulfilment in Kyrgyzstan and aimed at providing knowledge on sexual reproductive health and rights and their reflection in the law on reproductive and sexual rights of citizens in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The seminar’s participants were the representatives of the First medical aid department of the Ministry of Health, gynaecologists of the Human Reproduction Center and Family Planning Center, urologists of National Health Hospital and Republican Health Improvement Center together with USAID, NGO “Alga”, Micro credit organization foundation, Institute of equal rights and opportunities, and Human Development Center.

During the training participants developed monitoring and evaluation indicators and action plan for the following five months of the project’s implementation.

Contact: Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 02, 61 12 13; e-mail:


April 4-10 in the Russian Drama Theatre a series of entertaining musicals was performed by the “Taberik” Children’s Musical Theatre. Young actors invited their peers and parents to share their views on how to solve the problems of iodine and iron deficiencies. The project was supported by the Asian Development Bank and UNICEF. Schoolchildren, their teachers and parents not only enjoyed the show but also took part in musical games and learnt a lot to be healthy.

Iodine deficiency affects the mental and physical development of a child. Severe iodine deficiency causes goiter and thyroid disorders, and in some cases cretinism. However, even moderate iodine deficiency can significantly impair the child’s learning capacity and intelligence level. Studies have revealed that inadequate intake of iodine can lower IQ by 10-15 percent.

All these problems can be prevented by a diet with sufficient iodine, for instance seafood, which is rich in iodine. However, it is impossible to ensure that the Kyrgyz population consumes seafood every day, if at all. Other foods produced and consumed in the country have inadequate iodine content. Therefore, the simplest and cheapest solution is consumption of iodized salt. UNICEF and ADB are working with the Ministry of Health and salt manufacturers and importers to ensure universal iodination of salt in the country and eliminate the risk of iodine deficiency for the population.

During the last two months with rehearsals going on, the parents of young actors could often hear a simple answer to the question why their children get bad marks at school – “when parents buy non-iodized salt, they deprive their kids of the capacity to study”.

Iron deficiency anemia prevails among almost all the pregnant women of Kyrgyzstan and 61 percent of children under 3 years old. The performers played games with the audience to learn how to prevent this problem by means of a better diet.

The musical was staged by Art Director Olga Araklian and Producer Sergey Streltsov. Svetlana Suslova, the well-known poetess, composed the songs.

Contact: Richard Young, Resident Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail:


On 24 March the WHO Liaison Office conducted the Press conference dedicated to the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day under the slogan “DOTS cured me and it will cure you too”. Guljigit Aaliev, Deputy Minister of Health, Avtandil Alisherov, Director of the tuberculosis research institute, Gulmira Tashmursaeva, Director of the Republican Center of Health together with the representatives of the international organizations participated in the press conference. Representatives of the project “Hope”, Red Crescent Society and WHO Liaison Office briefed journalists on their organizations’ activities on preventing and fighting with TB in Kyrgyzstan and once again reminded the public of this serious but curable illness.

After the press conference the jury comprised of the WHO and the project “Hope” representatives nominated and presented prizes to the winners of the best poster contest among TB patients, who demonstrated their vision of this illness in the posters.

Next action was conducted on the stadium of the Kyrgyz Physical Culture Institute. The students from several high schools, TB patients and doctors of TB research institute took part in a running competition. This action was aimed at demonstrating of TB patients’ willingness to be healthy.

Contact: Mr. Oskon Moldokulov, WHO Liaison Officer. Tel. +996 (312) 66 35 44, 66 33 82, e-mail: or Elden Kalchakeev, National Officer on Health Communication of WHO Liaison Office in Kyrgyzstan. Tel. +996 (312) 66 35 44, 66 33 82, e-mail:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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