Kyrgyzstan Flash Appeal 2008

28 November 2008

Acute humanitarian needs now exist in Kyrgyzstan, caused by a confluence of factors.  Last year’s harsh winter, followed by low precipitation during the spring and summer of 2008, has depleted Kyrgyzstan’s hydroelectric resources and caused power cuts just when electricity is most needed for home heating.  Soaring food and fuel prices, adverse weather and declining remittances have weakened the purchasing power of the most vulnerable and contributed to a precarious food security situation for some.  The October 2008 WFP Emergency Food Security Assessment revealed that one household in five is at high nutritional and health risk because of poor food consumption.  Based on these and other assessments, an estimated 800,000 people are considered specifically vulnerable to the effects of water, energy and food insecurity.  These are: the extremely poor; homeless people; street children; people living in institutions; people living in extremely remote locations; and people who lack proper documentation, which makes them ineligible for many of the existing social protection schemes.  These factors form the indicators of the worst-case scenario in Kyrgyzstan’s winter contingency planning, and therefore trigger this Flash Appeal 

The objectives of this Flash Appeal are, firstly, to respond pro-actively to actual and imminent humanitarian needs, focusing on the most vulnerable groups or social service institutions (like hospitals and orphanages) between December 2008 and May 2009.  Secondly, the objectives include supporting urgent effective implementation of priority interventions of the Country Development Strategy (CDS), including linkages between humanitarian assistance and early recovery actions.  The medium- to long-term solutions defined in the CDS, and the urgent implementation of priority CDS interventions, strengthened by early recovery interventions, will help build a Kyrgyzstan that does not need annual humanitarian appeals.  This Appeal also takes into consideration planned and/or ongoing actions by the donor community as a whole.  The coordination of its preparation with partners in the Donor Council of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government ensures, overall, a coherent response to urgent humanitarian needs, with explicit linkages to both early recovery and medium-term development priorities defined in the CDS.[1]

This Appeal has emerged from a framework of joint contingency planning with the Government, which has planned for a potential crisis and taken extraordinary measures to ensure availability of electricity during winter.  Nevertheless, with the main hydro-electric reservoir low and limited alternative sources of electricity available, there will be a shortfall in heating and power supply, which could worsen the situation in the health, water and sanitation sectors.  On 6 August 2008, the Prime Minister requested the UN to assist with the coordination of donor actions to avert potential winter difficulties.  Between August and November 2008 assessments were conducted, coordination arrangements were strengthened and contingency plans were developed, for which partial funding has been made available.  However, with the onset of winter, more funding is urgently needed to ensure that basic medical services remain accessible, water and sanitation supplies continue uninterrupted, and the most vulnerable people in society have access to shelter, heating, medical care and food. 

It was therefore agreed to transform the contingency plan into a flash appeal, focussing only on unmet humanitarian needs stemming from the critical gaps in the national response.  Targeted assistance will be provided during the next six months, while concerted efforts will be made to mobilise longer-term programmes for early recovery and risk reduction.  Regular assessments will be undertaken to ensure that the planned preparedness and response actions and the resources being sought for them remain relevant, timely and effective, and the response plan will be regularly updated to reflect new needs.  Projects take into account the implementation capacity of UN agencies and NGO partners, and are based on quality assessment data that have been generated for this purpose.

This response plan seeks US$[2] 20,635,263 to help seven UN agencies and three NGOs support the Government of Kyrgyzstan in addressing the needs of some two million persons, including 800,000 of the most vulnerable people in the country, as well as to undertake preparedness measures to ensure continuation of essential services.[3]  Activities will be carried out in the food, health, water and sanitation, shelter and child protection and education sectors.


[1]The donor community has emphasized the importance of the Government’s efforts to update, prioritise and implement the CDS and continue to support those efforts, most notably through the Joint Country Support Strategy.  Information on the full spectrum of donor response can be found via the Donor Council web portal ( 

[2]All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS,, which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2008 page.

[3]Partners have indicated that $48,460 is already available for their proposed projects, leaving an outstanding requirement of $20,586,803.


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28 November 2008

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