BISHKEK (TCA) — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Kyrgyzstan on May 3 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to scale up their collaboration over the next five years and re-affirm their commitment to achieving food security for all in the country.
Under the MoU, WFP’s Country Strategic Plan (CSP) will be jointly implemented with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. It prioritizes school meals, food security and nutrition, as well as the improvement of rural livelihoods and food productivity in the face of climate change.
The CSP is based on recommendations outlined in the national poverty and food security reviews conducted by the Kyrgyz Government last year. It is aligned with national development objectives for economic growth and social development, as well as with two of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals: SDG2 – Zero Hunger, which aims to eradicate hunger by 2030 – and SDG17, which promotes both public and private partnerships.
“We thank WFP for its assistance and look forward to intensifying our joint efforts towards achieving our country’s priorities – the elimination of poverty, of inequality and of all forms of malnutrition while at the same time expanding school meals and other social protection programmes,” said Vice Prime Minister Altynai Omurbekova at the signing ceremony.
This five-year strategy aims to improve access to nutritious food for all primary schoolchildren in Kyrgyzstan and to support over 100,000 poor families – particularly women – in selected underdeveloped communities with a view to improving people’s livelihoods and their ability to cope with natural disasters and climate change.
“WFP and the Kyrgyz Government are working together to help ensure that all people of the Kyrgyz Republic become food secure and lead healthy, productive lives,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic, Andrea Bagnoli. “We will continue working with people from across the country – from those living in remote valleys right up to government ministers – to ensure that the voices and needs of vulnerable people are better heard and listened to by decision makers.”
The CSP has been developed through a participatory process in close collaboration with the government, development partners, national institutions and communities.
Activities outlined in the CSP require funds totaling some US$60 million to rehabilitate and equip rural schools, and create key agricultural and disaster mitigation assets. Emphasis is placed on supporting irrigation infrastructure, vegetable production and food processing, prevention of floods and mudslides, and income generation through skills training.
“The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic is committed to supporting the implementation of WFP’s five-year Country Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. We also encourage our partners to broaden their international support to help achieve the strategic goals of the CSP for the benefit of the Kyrgyz people,” said Omurbekova.
WFP has been present in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2008, supporting the government in strengthening national social protection systems, boosting community resilience to shocks and stresses, and improving the provision of school meals in the country.