The Kyrgyz Republic is highly exposed to disasters. Landslides, mudflows and floods are major hazards, with 200 to 300 events every year. The Kyrgyz Republic is classified as the most seismically dangerous country in Central Asia: it can reach a magnitude of 8 - 9 on the Richter scale in most of the country, leading to more than 3,000 earthquakes each year.
The Government lists 54 hazards and hazardous processes that could result in disasters that are natural, man-made, ecological, biological or social, as well as conflict-related emergencies. Industrial and transport-related hazards also threaten Kyrgyzstan’s population, economy and environment. Various deposits containing toxic waste are located on unstable territory. Natural hazards, such as landslides or earthquakes, could dislodge these materials into nearby rivers, threatening densely populated areas such as the Fergana Valley.
Political and security risks are also high in the Kyrgyz Republic: Ferghana Valley is under high risk of intra- and inter-tate conflicts. In June 2010, the extended political crisis in Kyrgyzstan led to civil unrest and the displacement of over 400,000 people. This sudden outbreak of violence demonstrated that volatile areas still exist, and that they could trigger violent conflicts and complex emergencies. The regional political stability is further threatened by region-wide, inter-State disputes over land, water, energy and other vital resources.
OCHA has addressed various humanitarian needs in Kyrgyzstan. In response to the June 2010 unrest, OCHA immediately deployed staff and opened two support offices in Bishkek and Osh. Clusters were established within the first week of the crisis, and Inter-Agency Standing Committee partners had access to OCHA’s full range of services. OCHA in Bishkek and Osh facilitated assessments, managed information, coordinated the preparation and revision of a Flash Appeal, and supported resource mobilization efforts until the offices were closed by the end of 2011 as part of the recovery transition strategy.
Since 2012, an OCHA National Disaster Response Adviser is directly supporting the Disaster Response Coordination Unit (DRCU) in his role of DRCU Secretariat Head. The unit was established in 2008 to facilitate the efforts of UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, local and international NGOs, and the Government in disaster preparedness and response in Kyrgyzstan.