BISHKEK – The Swiss Government has contributed CHF2.5 million to boost United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) support to vulnerable Kyrgyz families hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WFP will use the funds for cash assistance to 80,000 people who will work in community assets creation or skills training programmes designed to increase their employment opportunities and build their resilience against future shocks.
“The Swiss Government and people of Switzerland are proud to stand together with Kyrgyzstan in supporting the most vulnerable people hit hard by the COVID-19 crises,” said Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic, Véronique Hulmann. “Our partnership with WFP will help the poorest families to sustain a livelihood through these difficult times.”
WFP, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, will prioritize families living in urban and semi-urban areas, where people are particularly affected by the social-economic impact.
“Thanks to the generous contribution from the Government of Switzerland, WFP can help families meet their basic food needs, while giving them a degree of freedom of choice as they cope with the pandemic, develop marketable skills, and improve community assets. By injecting cash into markets, we help create demand, benefiting entire communities, including local food producers,” remarked Andrea Bagnoli, WFP Country Director for the Kyrgyz Republic.
Already in April 2020, as an early pandemic response, Switzerland contributed CHF 200,000 through WFP to quickly support social inpatient institutions and boarding schools across the country. The aid reached more than 3,000 people, including orphans, elderly and people with disabilities for three months.
The Government of Switzerland provides assistance for the development of the Kyrgyz Republic to improve the well-being of the population. Over the last 25 years Switzerland has granted more than CHF 450 million to Kyrgyzstan in the form of technical, financial and humanitarian support.