In Kyrgyz Republic, Japan allocates US$1 million to support vulnerable people


Bishkek - The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the Kyrgyz Republic will receive US$1 million from the Government of Japan to support thousands affected by the recent Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes.

"The Government of Japan hopes that this assistance will help the people of the Kyrgyz Republic to overcome the hardship and respond to the humanitarian situation caused by the clashes around the border between the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan," said His Excellency Hideki Goda, Japanese Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic. "The Emergency Grant Aid will allow the UN agencies to provide humanitarian assistance, such as food, shelter, protection and non-food items."

WFP will receive US$500,000 to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations affected by the clashes. With the contribution from Japan and in line with the approach agreed with the Kyrgyz Government, WFP will provide fortified wheat flour and vegetable oil to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host families, as well as returnees upon completion of community recovery works.

"The contribution from the Government of Japan comes at a critical time, with the Global Food Crisis causing unprecedented challenges to the world. With winter fast approaching, we are grateful for the grant, which will enable us to provide food assistance to vulnerable people in border areas," said Kojiro Nakai, WFP Representative and Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic. "By working together with other UN Agencies and partners, we hope to provide immediate support, while improving community assets for the future."

UNHCR will receive US$500,000 for protection activities to assist people displaced by the conflict and returnees, including through identifying and responding to protection risks, and providing legal assistance to restore civilian documents. The contribution from Japan will also enable UNHCR to provide IDPs, returnees and host communities with essential core relief items and emergency shelter that can protect people from the Kyrgyzstan winter.

"With high-levels of displacement and returns, disruption of public services and break-down of support networks, vulnerable groups have even greater protection needs," said Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia. "With this contribution from Japan, UNHCR can respond to the urgent protection needs of displaced and returned persons and families, including helping individuals restore legal proof of identity so that they can access social and health services, and other rights. The imminent onset of winter brings additional challenges. Displaced people, host communities and returnees need safe, warm and dignified shelter."

WFP and UNHCR will assist a total of over 55,000 vulnerable people within three months in Batken and Osh provinces.

Violence in the south of the Kyrgyz Republic along the border with Tajikistan displaced over 140,000 people in mid-September. The Ministry of Emergency Situations and the UN Country Team in the Kyrgyz Republic activated the Disaster Response Coordination Unit (DRCU), an inter-agency coordination mechanism with participation of UN Agencies, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organizations, in support of the government. UNHCR is leading the Protection Sector and contributes to the Emergency Shelter/ NFI response, while WFP is leading the Food Security and Logistics Sectors of this interagency humanitarian response.

On 21 October, the DRCU launched a Response Plan which aims to reach over 77,700 of the most vulnerable among the affected people. The plan requires US$14.7 million in humanitarian funding to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs until the end of this year.

The UN agencies were part of the Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) mission, conducted by the DRCU upon Government request. The REACT mission determined that 38 per cent of the surveyed population in the affected areas have difficulties in accessing enough food, and limited functionality of markets was observed in all of Batken and Leilek districts, and partially in two districts of Osh province. Other key concerns of the affected population included adequate emergency shelter as well as financial restitution for lost lives and property.

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