Kyrgyzstan: 15,000 people to get help in radioactive waste affected areas

Jan 15, 2015

The Uranium production plant at Ak-Tyuz has damaged communities. UNDP will help them get back on their feet. pHOTO UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – Around 15,000 poor and vulnerable people living near radioactive waste sites will get help to monitor their environment, create jobs, boost livelihoods and strengthen their communities through a new UNDP project.

Over two years, with just under 1.5 million US dollars from the Russian Federation, the project aims to inject new life into struggling local economies and strengthen the socio-economic infrastructure of five towns that have been badly affected by storage sites for radioactive waste from Uranium production.

Small grants will be given to bolster local businesses and project staff will work with local officials to boost growth and environmental awareness. New micro-projects will be created with local communities and authorities.

“We hope that, together with the beneficiaries and project partners, we will be able to overcome the depressing situation in these pilot villages. We have all the possibilities." said Alexander Avanessov, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

"This new project is another important joint initiative, which was preceded by painstaking work of experts from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, international experts, consultations with local communities and beneficiaries” he added.

Project staff will work with Kryrgyzstan's Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, local authorities and local communities, business associations, farmers and entrepreneurs. The towns to be covered are Min-Kush, Kaji-Say, Ak-Tyuz, Orlovka and Bordo.
 
Andrey Krutko, Russia's Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, said “It is important that the project will be implemented by the UN Development Programme. In December 2013, we signed a donor agreement on a pilot project on the area-based development of the Naryn region. A lot has been done over the past year - and Moscow hopes that the new project will be no less of an example of our fruitful collaboration".

The project will draw on Russian expertise in early warning systems and environmental monitoring and will compliment efforts supported by Russia and other partners to render the affected areas safe and boost development.

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