Kazakhstan is characterized by a variety of natural landscapes: high, ice-covered mountains, lowlands and plains, steppes, deserts, oases, forests, and major and minor bodies of water including the Caspian and Aral seas. With a territory of 2,929,300 square kilometers, Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by land area, and the world’s largest landlocked country. Its population is approximately 16 million people and its population density is less than six people per square km.
The Kazakhstan economy is the largest in Central Asia. It possesses vast oil reserves, minerals and metals. It also has considerable agricultural potential, with its steppe lands accommodating livestock and grain production, as well as developed space infrastructure.
The Government increasingly recognizes the threats posed by natural and environmental hazards that are characteristic to the country. It is taking steps to strengthen its capacity to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of such occurrences. The Government also recognizes the special role that humanitarian stakeholders, such as the UN and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies may have in a disaster.
Highlights of OCHA’s efforts in Kazakhstan include the following:
Strengthening the Government’s capacity to respond to emergencies in cooperation with international and local humanitarian partners.
Supporting Kazakhstan’s role of a regional leader in responding to emergencies and providing humanitarian aid to the region and worldwide.
Promoting Kazakhstan’s engagement with international response coordination mechanisms, such as the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group and the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team.
Working closely with the Government to improve the national and regional legal frameworks for better disaster management.
Providing strong support to the initiative to establish the Central Asian Centre for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction, aimed at advancing regional cooperation on early warning and disaster response.
Kazakhstan is the largest humanitarian donor from the region. Since 2006, it has provided up to $60 million in overall humanitarian aid; in-kind contributions made up $46.5 million or 87 per cent of this total.