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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 188
April 19, 2003

In this issue:


  • Regional Ombudsmen Gathered in Kyrgyzstan
  • UNDP Ukraine: Cooperation Visit
  • Sharing Experience on Social Mobilisation with Partner Organizations
  • Training Seminar on Gender Policy


  • The World Health Day: The Festival of Health in Kyrgyzstan


  • 150 kg of potassium iodate given to the Kyrgyz Association of Salt Manufacturers


Between March and November 2002, four Ombudsmen institutions in Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have been opened. To provide them with consultative support and information sharing opportunity, the UNDP Regional Center in Bratislava and UNDP Office in Bishkek invited Ombudsmen from Central Europe and Central Asia together with UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Ombudsman, Mr. James Lee, for a round table meeting held on April 10-11 at Issyk-Kul Lake.

The meeting, according to participants, started a new phase in cooperation with, and between, Ombudsmen institutions in Central Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region. The Ombudsmen institutions representatives, guests from Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Tajikistan shared their experiences on Ombudsmen offices functioning.

Pavel Kandrac, Slovak Republic’s Ombudsman, perceived the round table as an important forum for exchange of experience and information: “We could compare the organizational structure with other Ombudsman offices in the region and gained contacts could be crucial to speed up processes when dealing with individual claims”.

Jerzy Swiatkiewicz, the Polish Deputy Ombudsman, also participated in the round table at Issyk-Kul and provided consultative support to the Kyrgyz Ombudsman’s Office within the framework of the UNDP Project on Ombudsman institution’s capacity building signed in March 2003. The Polish Deputy Ombudsman’s mission was aimed at developing the strategy of the Kyrgyz Ombudsman’s office work and reviewing the introduction of amendments to appropriate laws, producing recommendations on functions and authorities of Ombudsman office, as well as recommendations on training of staff.

In general, the mission’s goal was to assist the Ombudsman’s office in starting-up activities, rendering the office methodical and consultative support. During his stay in Kyrgyzstan Mr. Swiatkiewicz met with representatives of state organizations, courts, members of Parliament, various international organizations and human rights NGOs leaders.

On 15 April Mr. Swiatkiewicz briefed the journalists at the press conference on the results of his visit at Aki Press Information Center in Bishkek. The Kyrgyz Ombudsman, Tursunbai Bakir-Uluu, also participated at the press conference.

Contact: Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13. Fax: (996 312) 61 12 17. Email: or Dinara Rakhmanova, UNDP Central Governance Programme Manager. Phone: (996 312) 66 46 34, 66 21 08. Email:

A mission from the UNDP Ukraine/ Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme, consisting of Adrian Walraven, Community Development Officer and Olena Dobrorodneva, Assistant to Programme Manager, visited Kyrgyzstan recently. One of the major objectives of the visit was to gain the conceptual idea of the Local Governance Programme in Kyrgyzstan and learn the practical experience the Programme has obtained. Secondary objective was to observe the field activities that are undertaken by the community-based organizations in the pilot village municipalities of the Jalal-Abad oblast.

In Bishkek, the team met with David Akopyan, the Deputy Resident Representative and had a meeting with the Management team at the Central Office, where Temirbek Koshoev, Chief Technical Adviser together with Erkin Rakimbaev, Legal expert of the Programme briefed on the current status of local governance system in Kyrgyzstan and Strategy on Decentralization and Local Self-Governance. Anara Salamatova, the Programme Manager made presentation on the Programme structure, main objectives and results achieved and briefed about current reprogramming process of UNDP Programmes.

For the practical experience an intensive training program was prepared, which met the major objectives of the visit. This field level training was headed by Amar Sainju, IUNV/ Regional Development Adviser and supported by National UNVs Janna Saralaeva and Davlyat Orozalieva. Regional Coordinator of the Preventive Development Component in Osh oblast Andrei Khanzin made a comprehensive presentation of the activities being undertaken under the Preventive Development Component in all three oblasts of the Southern Kyrgyzstan and emphasized linkages between two components of one Programme and with other UNDP Programmes and international organizations.

The community-based organization (CBO) leaders B. Khaibatov and Chinara Jhusupova were invited for sharing their experiences, which had made the training more practical and fruitful.

The training sessions were followed by field visits. The team visited a number of CBO social infrastructure and economic development projects. This visit gave the team a sense that the CBOs are fulfilling the principles of self-governance system, viz: self-management, self-financing and sustainability.

After the training and visit programmes a wrap-up meeting was organized in Jalal-Abad Programme Office and a presentation at UNDP country office, where team from UNDP Ukraine presented their major observations and impressions. Explicitly, the mission’s observations were that CBOs are very progressive and active working as independent self-governing institutions at the grass root levels, being involved actively in the local development planning and decision-making. Likewise, they are participating in the transparent budgeting and programming of the village municipalities.

Partnerships of the CBOs with the local governments, as well as with other donor organizations are very praiseworthy. Through Participatory planning exercise new types of annual development plans are being prepared, and what is important, the Programme’s activities are being recognized by local authorities and Heads of local state administrations.

The overall impression of the mission was that implementation of the Programme activities is being carried out in a very systematized way and successful results have been achieved in all Programme aspects and social mobilization is very effective as an instrument to mobilize local resources.

At the end the mission members wished to have some National UNVs from the Decentralization Component to visit the UNDP Ukraine/ Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme to make analysis of the status of CBOs and provide the on-the-spot-training to the programme staff and the community leaders in the Chernobyl province.

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

Sharing experience on social mobilisation with partner organisations

In the framework of cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and based on the strategy of UNDP Social Governance Programme on transferring the experience of social mobilisation to national counterparts, a series of trainings was conducted in all oblasts of the republic during the period of February-March 2003. Sessions were designed for the social workers of aiyl okmotus, who work directly with rural population, and their immediate supervisors at district and provincial levels on purpose of building their capacity in terms of self-help group formation and development. The identified participants are the public servants of those areas where Social Governance Programme is already working, so as to ensure cost effectiveness of the transfer process. The training was held by the two teams consisting of 4 National UNVs with total participation of 96 social workers of Aiyl Okmotu, 32 representatives of rayon department of Social protection and 8 representatives of Social protection oblast departments.

The 5-days trainings were conducted in accordance with the Poverty Alleviation Component’s Implementation and Training Manual and focused particularly on the notion, methods, mechanisms and peculiarities of social mobilisation and working with the rural poor. According to the participants and based on the collected feedback, all participants obtained very useful skills and important information that can be applied in their day-to-day operations. The training was very fruitful and helped establish new linkages with national counterparts at various levels. It is also planned to conduct similar training for the staff of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection during this quarter.

On April 15-17 the training on social mobilisation was held at UN House for the staff and stakeholders of the Rural Advisory Service (RAS), a partner organisation of UNDP Social Governance Programme. The RAS plans to involve itself in the process of group mobilisation and increase access of their beneficiaries to formal credits. This training according to the RAS participants has enhanced their knowledge of group formation and development.

The training seminar on gender policy in public institutions was held on 16 April 2003. The seminar was organized by UNDP Social Governance Programme, the Presidential Administration and the parliamentarians of the Legislative Assembly of the Jogorku Kenesh for governors, their deputies responsible for social protection affairs and for the representatives of rayon administrations of Chuy and Talas oblasts.

The seminar was aimed at informing the representatives of oblast state authorities about the process of implementation of the National Action Plan for Gender Development, as well as about the newly adopted gender legislation. The special attention was paid to the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the Basics of State Guarantees for Gender Equality. This Law is the first in the history of the sovereign Kyrgyzstan which guarantees men and women the equal rights and opportunities in social, political, economic and cultural spheres of life and is aimed at protection from gender related discrimination. Also the gender stereotypes in the state authorities and their role in the process of the implementation of the National Action Plan for Gender Equality became the issues of the seminar. In May the Social Governance Programme is planning to organize similar seminars for the representatives of the administrations of the other oblasts and rayons of the country.

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


The World Health Day: The Festival of Health in Kyrgyzstan

This year the WHO’s slogan for the World Health Day is “Healthy Environments for children”, and WHO jointly with other UN organizations celebrated this big event organized on the central square of Bishkek. This action was aimed at raising awareness of the population about healthy environments for children, as according to the WHO report, 5 million children in the world annually die from direct exposure to unhealthy environment.

The WHO local office organized poster contest among children staying in hospitals. Patients of children hospitals took part at this event. Paper and paints were provided in advance, and on 3 April the joint jury comprised of the WHO, UNICEF, Ministry of Health and UNFPA representatives selected the winners. Six winners were selected and awarded, including a boy and a girl who have drawn their paintings staying in hospital beds.

The WHO jointly with the Mayor’s office, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, UNFPA and “Europa plus” radio conducted the Health Festival under the slogan “Healthy Environments for children” on central square of Bishkek. Events like this have never been organized before. More then 1300 children from several schools of Bishkek took part at this festival.

The Children’s dancing group “Taberik” performed a big concert. Competitions among children on the best chalk drawings were held. The program of the Festival included the sport competitions among teenagers who played street ball, and family competitions, where more than 50 teams were competing with each other. Exhibition of healthy products was also held and free medical consultations were provided to all.

Additionally football Championship among teams of Central Asia countries under the slogan “Healthy environments for children” had been conducted in south part of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city on 7 April 2003. The WHO provided posters from last year events for distribution among children.

On 7 April 2003 by initiative of the UNFPA office the press conference dedicated to the World Health Day was organized and conducted at press center “Kabar”. Mr. Guljigit Aaliev, Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Alexander Iliyn UNFPA Programme Officer, Mr. Oscon Moldokulov, WHO Liaison Officer, Mr. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative, Ms. Gulmira Aitmurzaeva, Director of Republican Center of Health Promotion participated in the press conference.

Mr. Alexander Ilyin noted that children’s health is being threatened by a variety of causes, such as poverty, violence, environmental pollution and inadequate access to health care services. The United Nations Organisations have mobilised effective strategies that are being implemented at various levels and in various settings to improve the environment and the health conditions of the population. He said that the youth in Kyrgyzstan are vulnerable towards the threats of HIV through mother to child transmission, forced sex and drug addiction at young age. Early pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents do affect the life of the young generation. Adolescents during the period of growth are most vulnerable to the impact and consequences of iodine, iron and other essential nutrition factor shortages.

Contact: Mr. Oskon Moldokulov, WHO Liaison Officer. Tel. +996 (312) 66 35 44, 66 33 82, e-mail: and Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 02, 61 12 13; e-mail:


On 17 April UNICEF in the Kyrgyz Republic handed over to the just created Kyrgyz Association of Salt Manufacturers 150 kg of potassium iodate to iodize about 3,000 tons of salt to stem the prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). It will be distributed to salt manufacturers throughout the republic.

The impact of iodine deficiency extends beyond the burden of people affected by the various clinical syndromes. A series of studies showed a reduction of the entire distribution of cognitive ability in the deficient population by as much as 10-15 Intelligence Quotient (IQ) points. IDD in infancy can cause serious mental and physical disorders.

At present, the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the countries where ID is most prevalent. Its geographic location puts it to the highest risk of iodine deficiency in the biosphere – mountains occupy 90 percent of the territory, the republic is considerably remote from seas and oceans. Though, in the past during the period of 1950-1985, IDD was virtually eliminated due to the universal consumption of iodized salt.

All over the world, it is acknowledged that regularly iodized salt consumption is preventing IDD such as learning disability and mental retardation among children. Iodized salt should be included into everybody’s daily diet. It does not have any special taste or smell; and the iodization technology is cheap and does not cause any considerable increase in cost.

This consignment is a part of the joint programme of the Kyrgyz Government, UNICEF and ADB. Totally, ADB and UNICEF plan to purchase iodine for 15,000 tons of salt – annually required amount. Next year, the salt manufacturers commit to undertake this responsibility and live up to required standards.

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

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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