Korea, WFP partner to promote food security, reduce poverty in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on October 4 signed a three-year agreement to improve food security, nutrition and resilience to climate-related and economic shocks for more than 80,000 vulnerable people in four Kyrgyz provinces, the two organizations said in a joint news release.

Under the agreement, KOICA will provide WFP with US$4 million to design and implement, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, projects that focus on creating or restoring community assets to improve food security and resilience to climate risks and agricultural productivity.

The grant will also fund vocational training for people to learn skills to help increase their incomes as well as training on nutrition and hygiene practices to improve families’ nutrition.

These projects will be implemented in the poorest areas of the Batken, Jalal-Abad, Osh, and Naryn provinces.

“This valuable partnership with KOICA enables WFP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development to extend their existing productive safety nets project to new areas,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Ram Saravanamuttu. “This ensures that our activities, which are widely recognized for enhancing social development, have a broader impact on rural communities and economic growth across the country.”

“The Government of Korea and KOICA support our partner countries in achieving sustainable, indigenous development of rural areas by enhancing food security, income levels and quality of life,” said Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kyrgyzstan Jung Byeong-hoo. “We look forward to our partnership with WFP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development contributing to the socio-economic empowerment of the poorest.”

KOICA’s Country Director Park Sun Jin and WFP’s Saravanamuttu signed the agreement at a ceremony at the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

“Our key objective is to create a conducive environment to empower the poorest households in the country,” said Minister of Labour and Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic Kudaibergen Bazarbaev. “I can see this agreement opening up new opportunities to expand social support to the most vulnerable while contributing to food security, poverty alleviation and local economic development.”

In 2016, WFP plans to assist about 200,000 people through school meals and productive safety nets programmes across the Kyrgyz Republic.

KOICA’s bilateral assistance in the Kyrgyz Republic covers fields such as governance, public administration, agriculture and rural development, health and education. In 2016, it is assisting the “Election Management Capacity Building in the Kyrgyz Republic”, the “Establishment of Land Information System in the Kyrgyz Republic” and the “Establishing an e-NID System in the Kyrgyz Republic”. KOICA also operates civil society-based cooperation, overseas volunteer programs as well as training programs for the capacity building of government officials.


Times of Central Asia