September 05, 2003
In this issue:
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
- A Regional Meeting of UNDP Resident Representatives in the Central Asian countries
- Local Development Funds Prove Their Effectiveness in Villages
- Recent UNDP Publications
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)
- Visit of the Regional Director to Kyrgyzstan
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
A regional meeting of UNDP Resident Representatives in the Central Asian countries is being held in Bishkek at the UN House on 5 and 6 September. Ms. Marta Ruedas, Deputy Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (New York Headquarters) opened the meeting.
The agenda includes such items as the implementation of the UNDP Strategy for Central Asia for 2003-2005, a discussion on further cooperation and harmonization of UNDP programmes in the regions, as well as the border movement of people and goods, UN Water Initiative and UNDP’s role and outcomes of the Fresh Water Forum held earlier in Dushanbe.
The participants have also discussed cooperation with the European Union, the implementation of the Border Management Programme for Central Asia (BOMCA), resource mobilization, security issues and many others.
The regional meeting, commenced with a working breakfast of the Resident Representatives with Mr. Dennis de Tray, the World Bank Country Director for Central Asia, where the issues of regional and country-level cooperation between the World Bank and UNDP were discussed.
For more information please contact: Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Phone: 61 12 13; e-mail:
A competition among economic projects was held recently in Toguz Bulak in the Issyk-Kul province by UNVs of the Local Self-Governance Programme. The Local Development Fund “Tamyr” (Roots) created in Toguz Bulak by the villagers has proved to be successful - it applied for grants and attracted 10,000 USD from the Persian Gulf Fund, public associations and the village administration. The allocated money was distributed as micro credits among the six sustainable community organizations – Araket, Bereket, Uchkun, Ay-Nuru, Zhashtar Yntymagy and Kun-Chygysh for cattle and poultry breeding. Now the next round of a competition for the best economic projects is in progress.
Now, to select the best and the most effective projects, the Development Fund’s managing committee this time approached the applications’ review process creatively and decided to hold a competition among proposed projects. The initiative of the Local Development Fund “Tamyr” was supported, and the competition among economic projects was held on 30 August, where the 15 community based organizations (CBOs) presented their projects. The jury, represented by the rayon council head, the chief of the rayon administration, UNVs and a local administration’s workers, judged the project presentations. Among them were “All the best to children”, “Bird’s island”, “Healing herbs”, “The Golden Fleece” and others, bearing remarkable titles. The presenters were excited to tell about their plans and expected impact of their projects. Every project received credits for their activities ranging from $500 to $1100 each.
This event was the one of many such events within social mobilization activities in the Issyk-Kul province. Up to now, there are 21 community based organizations with total financing of 228,000 som (almost USD 5,500) as micro credits. Village community organizations develop their own social projects, like reconstruction of a public laundry or sowing the land with barley. They conduct working seminars on the role of CBOs in poverty alleviation with participation of local administrations to solve the problem of poverty in the province.
For more information please contact: Anara Salamatova, Manager of the UNDP self-governance programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 11 76. Fax: (996 312) 66 48 64. E-mail:
Several new UNDP publications for external readers have been published recently and are being distributed now in Kyrgyzstan and abroad.
The Annual report of the Local Self-Governance Programme summarizes the activities in the spheres of support to decentralization and preventive development in 2002. The report includes the description of the programme’s aims and goals, its impact on the national policy in decentralization and preventive development with achieved results. The Report’s parts titled “The point of view”, “Facts Only”, “Success story”, “Figures Only” provide the reader with comprehensive understanding of the opinions expressed by specialists, experts, partners, as well as beneficiaries of the programme’s effectiveness, its impact on people’s lives and influence on the whole process of development. The Report is written in a simple language, and can be used by practitioners in the areas of decentralization, local self-governance, preventive development, and as a reference book for research in any sphere of development. The Report is available at the UN House library in Russian.
Three brochures on gender issues are published recently by UNDP for the youngest generation of readers (“A Fairy Tale about Boys and Girls”), teenagers (“Gender Relations: Lessons of Maturity”), as well as for wide audiences (“Gender in questions and answers”). All are written in very simple language, creatively designed with drawings of Emil Shukurov and aimed at explaining the audiences the definition of gender, as well as using this knowledge in everyday life. The brochures are published in Russian and Kyrgyz.
The Report “Poverty Reduction Programme: Changes in Target Villagers” is a synthesis of information covering different aspects of the various villages where the UNDP support to poverty reduction has been concentrated in. The methodology of the research included the study of the statistics in target villages till the Programme’s interventions and at the moment of the Report’s preparation, as well as surveys held and questionnaires distributed (participatory approach used).
The Report has four parts. Apart from the first part, which describes the evolution and the general background of the UNDP support to poverty reduction, the rest of the Report is organized as follows:
- Part two looks at the general characteristics and situation in the villages covered by the Programme. This includes population characteristics and dynamics. It reviews the existing economic activities, which are undertaken by the population a s a means of their livelihoods as well as the type of the socioeconomic infrastructure that existed in the villages. A review of the different development organizations, both local and external, helped to show how local development had been facilitated.
- Part three identified what interventions took place in the villages, its main partners and changes that have occurred as a result.
- The final part summarizes the main findings and outlines major recommendations for further actions in poverty reduction.
The research contains a lot of statistics; the living voices of the Programme’s beneficiaries are cited. Overall, it is intended for specialists, local administrations’ heads and the Government authorities, as well as broad audiences, including residents of the non-target villages.
UNDP Social Governance Programme (at present - UNDP Poverty Reduction Programme) has published its annual report. Apart from the results of the Programme’s intervention, the Report also contains the review of the Programme’s activities since 1998 and is divided on the analysis of poverty reduction and gender components together with future directions of the both components. The section on future directions includes analysis of the lessons learned, conclusions and the result of the Programme’s impact at the level of target and non-target villages. The Report concludes with a description of future priorities in poverty alleviation and introduction of gender approach for the nearest future. The copy of the Report can be obtained at the office of the Poverty Reduction Programme.
For more information please contact: Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)
The UNHCR Director of CASWANAME (Central Asia, South West Asia, Northern Africa and Middle East) Bureau, Mr. Ekber Menemencioglu, visited Kyrgyzstan on 29-30 August. Undoubtedly, the two major highlights of Mr. Menemencioglu’s visit were the citizenship ceremony for former refugees and the meeting with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Askar Akaev. During the meeting, President Akaev praised the work of UNHCR and stressed that the Kyrgyz Republic had been able to make progress in the areas of legislation, citizenship as well as the protection of refugees with considerable support from UNHCR. He thanked UNHCR again for its assistance and expressed the hope for further co-operation between the UNHCR and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. On behalf of the High Commissioner, Mr. Menemencioglu expressed gratitude to President Akaev for his innovative approach to asylum practices and for his personal commitment to find lasting humanitarian solutions for refugees.
The citizenship ceremony was held on the two year anniversary of the President’s Decree on Measures for Providing Assistance to Ethnic Kyrgyz who are Returning to their Historical Motherland. This remarkable Decree, signed on 29 August 2001, significantly facilitated the procedure of Kyrgyz citizenship acquisition for some of the thousands of ethnic Kyrgyz who fled from Tajikistan during the civil war of 1992-1996. At present there are more than 3,500 ethnic Kyrgyz, former Tajik refugees, who have become fully fledged citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic owing to the joint efforts of the Kyrgyz Government, various NGOs and UNHCR.
Granting citizenship or naturalization by the country of first asylum is a rare phenomenon in the world practice, and Kyrgyzstan in this sense is an exceptionally progressive country. Mr. Menemencioglu thanked the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for developing and adopting such policies and practices, which have provided an enabling environment for refugees to settle. The Director also thanked the people of Kyrgyzstan for their warm welcome they gave to the refugees, and for making them feel at home when they were forced to flee their country. The Director emphasized that Kyrgyzstan’s progressive approach towards refugees was extraordinary; only developed and industrialized countries such as USA, Australia, Canada and European countries, have provided naturalization of refugees.
During his visit to Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Menemencioglu have also met with various Government officials, including Mr. Osmonov, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Aitmatov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Subanbekov, the Minister of Interior, and Lieutenant General Sadiev, Chairman of the Border Guard Service. He also met the representatives of the International community, including Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan.
For more information please contact: James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Office. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: