WFP, Switzerland Launch Project to Boost Rural Communities' Resilience in Kyrgyz Republic

BISHKEK - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the Kyrgyz Republic, with financial support from the Government of Switzerland, is launching the Weather Index-Based Insurance Pilot Project, an initiative aiming to strengthen the resilience of rural communities to extreme weather-related risks and shocks.

The project, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and other line ministries, will integrate climate and disaster risk financing into national social protection systems.

Developed in collaboration with international experts and piloted in three districts of the mountainous Naryn province - Jumgal, Ak-Talaa and Naryn - the insurance project aims to assist local governments in protecting livestock farmers from extreme weather events, such as low fodder availability in pastures and the high price of fodder during extreme winters and drought. Based on the pilot results, it will be expanded to other priority regions.

"The Kyrgyz Republic, with its beautiful landscapes and natural wonders, is unfortunately no stranger to the impacts of extreme climate and the accompanying risks. The vulnerability of this region calls for immediate action, and it is inspiring to see the proactive measures being taken to mitigate risks associated with the changing climate and enhance the resilience of local communities," says Kojiro Nakai, WFP Kyrgyz Republic Representative and Country Director. "The Government of Switzerland's funding this vital project demonstrates our joint commitment towards creating a sustainable and resilient future for the country."

Under the 2023 pilot, the project will be rolled out during the extreme summer period. The pilot will insure local governments against drought for a maximum sum of around US$ 1.2 million, with an estimated premium amounting to US$ 200,000. The insurance coverage is expected to benefit 4,500 smallholders from vulnerable communities.

This initiative marks a significant step forward in building climate resilience within the Kyrgyz Republic. By leveraging international expertise and collaboration, WFP and its partners are actively engaged towards reducing vulnerability and exposure to shocks, by strengthening the adaptive capacities of rural communities.

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