Remarks by UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Louise Chamberlain Hotline 118 project signing
June 8, 2022
Dear Excellency Mr. Lee Won Jae, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in the Kyrgyz Republic,
Mr. Shamyrkanov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Emergency Situations,
Mr. Bekturganov, representing the Ministry of Health,
Mr. Yi Jong Su, Country Director of KOICA in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! As we are gathering here today, the world is nearing two years of battling the COVID-19 global pandemic. “Pandemia” has directly affected more than 180,000 people in Kyrgyzstan including over 2,700 deaths. Just over the past two weeks, we have witnessed a new variant of the omicron virus emerge at the global scene, posing serious concern to Kyrgyzstan as well. We also witness an increase in the number of deaths while the rates of vaccination are extremely low in international comparison, and even diminishing. Vaccination being the only known way to combat further spread of the virus and protect people from dying of the disease.
During the most active waves of the pandemic, one of critical challenges for people in Kyrgyzstan was to obtain health information. An emergency Hotline was formed, with support. Today, we sign a cooperation agreement to further establish, strengthen and integrate the COVID-19 emergency response hotline 118, with the support of the Republic of Korea. The support will serve to reduce people’s distance to healthcare and ensure that the public has better access to information and healthcare treatment. The 118 Hotline will also serve as a tool to combat the virus by increasing the rate of vaccination rate, in especially vulnerable times.
I would like to thank KOICA, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Emergency Situations for this valuable partnership. It is our pleasure and privilege to deepen our collaboration in this important area.
As you know, UNDP is working very actively together with other UN agencies to help strengthen the national health system.
Through our work as implementer of the Global Fund we already enjoy very strong cooperation with the Ministry of Health and other key institutions involved in the response. UNDP has supported the COVID response in the Kyrgyz Republic very actively since the very beginning, by mobilising early resources and implementing additional health procurement of vital equipment. We have undertaken socioeconomic impact assessment, supported the response planning for recovery, developed digital health services, and more.
Kyrgyzstan can and will turn the tide on COVID19. In order to tackle the complex and multi-dimensional health crisis, the government will need the sustained support and effective collaboration from the international community. We must continue to work closely together for an effective response. I would like to reaffirm UNDP’s commitment to supporting the Kyrgyz Republic in responding to the pandemic in every aspect to build back better. I sincerely hope that sustaining, expanding, and enhancing the functionality of the 118 Hotline is one of many more successful joint efforts to come toward public health and digitalization.
I express our gratitude to the Republic of Korea for its continued support, and to the Ministries of Health and Emergency Situations for their leadership and support in conceptualizing the initiative. By integrating the infrastructures of two hotlines, we will have an efficient and much stronger platform for enhanced health information to citizens now and in the future. I hope that together with additional partners, we can also continue to improve the content, and make linkages to other parts of the health and emergency response system, strengthening the coordination of the overall health system response.
Thank you. Chong Rahmat.