Executive Boards of the UN agencies undertake first visit to the Kyrgyz RepublicMay 9, 2016
Bishkek, May 9 – Representatives of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP Executive Boards concluded today a week-long Joint Field Visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. The purpose of the Joint Field Visit (JFV) was to see first-hand the ways in which UN organizations contribute to the achievement of national development priorities. The Ambassadorial-level delegation, composed of 21 members of the four Executive Boards representing 18 countries, discussed strategies for co-operation of the UN system with national authorities, including the Parliament, Government and key ministries, as well as with development partners and civil society organizations.
The delegates had the opportunity to see the results of the UN’s work on the ground in the regions of Batken, Jalal-Abad, Naryn and Osh, and discuss local priorities with farmers and individual entrepreneurs, women and youth, other representatives of the local communities and authorities. Special attention was paid to joint projects and delivering results together, as UN in Kyrgyzstan is a self-nominated “Delivering as One” country since 2009.
“I would like to underline and appreciate the good relations existing between the UN system and the Kyrgyz Republic and the high degree of trust, openness, transparency, and the joint strategic partnership for sustainable development,” said Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Ambassador of Armenia to the UN, Head of the JFV delegation and President of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS.
The members of the Executive Boards had an opportunity to assess the impact of UN agencies’ joint work in supporting communities to tackle development issues from various angles.
In the Batken region, UNICEF works to improve access to pre-school education and integration of children with disabilities at community-based kindergartens. UNFPA is supporting a Family Medicine Center to provide reproductive health services and family planning assistance to a population of 475,200. In the Kadamjai district, WFP is introducing cost-efficient and sustainable school meals models in schools.
The delegation also visited several peacebuilding project sites along the Kyrgyz–Tajik border in Batken, such as UNDP’s conflict prevention projects and preventive actions, facilitating cross-border dialogue. The project has recently evolved into a new joint initiative with UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, FAO and UN Women.
In the Osh region, UN Women, is working within the education system and, in particular, with 9th graders of various ethnicities in secondary schools to enhance their understanding of gender equality and women’s rights. They are also using the initiative to ensure trainings on effective use of scarce land resources to build successful livelihoods and social integration.
Executive Board Members also visited the School for Mothers in the Center for Family Medicine (supported by UNFPA and UNICEF), where women are taught pregnancy, delivery and post-partum care and the Osh Province AIDS Center, where they learned about its activities and interventions supported by UNICEF. The members witnessed outreach work among sex workers on HIV prevention supported by UNFPA, and discussed the challenges faced by this vulnerable group in accessing reproductive health and HIV services.
In Shark Ayil Aimak, WFP gave a presentation on the Information Center for Women and organized a small exhibition of women in profit-oriented leadership. In Yrys Ayil Aimak of Suzak district in Jalal-Abad oblast, UNICEF, and WFP joined efforts with UNDP to support the local population to have better access to services, through the Single Window Center, the drinking water supply system and the Rehabilitation Centre.
“The joint project of UNDP and WFP on rehabilitation of water supply system allowed the provision of more than 7,000 residents of the village with a safe drinking water. It is one of the most successful projects we have had in our village,” said Mr. Imanov Kadyrali, Mayor of Yrys Ayil Aimak.
In the Single Window Center in Yrys, supported by UNDP, municipal workers are better able to inform the population about the procedure and the provision of municipal and public services; provide advice and practical assistance to citizens in obtaining municipal and public services on social protection, registration land and property, and receiving permits for construction works. More than 650 people receive services in the Centre every month of which 60% are women.
In Kochkor, the Executive Board saw first-hand key activities on productive safety nets supported by WFP and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Minister Kudaibergen Bazarbaev, the Deputy Governor of Naryn Province and the Head of Kochkor District, met with the mission members to brief them on a variety of projects. In Kochkor, the mission members also observed the provision of youth-friendly health services at a primary healthcare center supported by UNFPA, met with young people and discussed their experiences.
“We are talking about peace and development to achieve SDGs. However, peace and development are based on proper access to food. I congratulate the farmers here for their success as they are the drivers of economic development. And if we believe we can, we can change the world for the better,” said H.E. Mr. Majid Dehghan-Shoar, Ambassador of Iran and WFP Executive Board Member.
In Naryn, the delegation was able to see the joint programme on economic empowerment of rural women implemented by UN-Women, FAO, and WFP aimed at increasing income opportunities and enhancing participation of rural women. Also, the delegation visited a number of projects within the “Area Based Development Programme” implemented by UNDP to support income-generation activities and services for farmers.
The members of the joint boards visited Vocational School #87 and participated in a healthy lifestyle class, which was developed and implemented with UNFPA’s support. The students are taught healthy behavior, prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The delegation also visited Tabaldiev School in Jergetal, where children have better learning outcome, nutritional status and better hygiene practice, thanks to the joint programme of WFP School Feeding Programme and UNICEF Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion Programme.
“I have witnessed the active participation of local community members in both projects visited today in Naryn province. They do so many things themselves! It is great to see such a positive impact of the joint UN efforts on the lives of people, but even more valuable is community members’ motivation and commitment to lead these initiatives,” said H.E. Mr. Walton Webson, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda - Vice-President of the UNICEF Executive Board.
The delegation, together with the Minister of Emergency Situation, visited the UNDP-supported Unified Information Management System for Disaster and Crises Management (UIMS). The UIMS has unified architecture for disaster/crises management and response and created a solid foundation for further strengthening the disaster monitoring and forecasting capacities.
The delegation also visited the maternity house of National Mother and Child Health Center to see the results of UNFPA and UNICEF’s joint work in implementing the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) Action Plan to accelerate achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 to improve maternal health, and interacted with health personnel and beneficiaries.
All government partners including the Prime-Minister, Parliament Members, representatives of Office of the President and line Ministries, acknowledged UNDP’s great impact through its support of institution building, including constitutional reform, and peaceful and fair elections during the Parliamentary elections in 2015.
“The example of the joint work of UN system in Kyrgyz Republic demonstrates that when working together, UN agencies achieve great results for sustainable development,” said H.E. Mr. Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Ambassador of Tunisia and President of the UN Women Executive Board.
More details on the results of the Executive Boards’ visit will be published in an official UN Report to be presented at the Second Regular Session of the Executive Boards in September 2016.