Kazakhstan, as other countries in Central Asia, is exposed to all kinds of natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and floods. The country experiences extreme seasonal changes, with harsh and long winters as well as hot summers that impact negatively on livelihoods, crops and livestock. In recent years, the raising temperatures due to climate change have been exacerbating the impact of climate-related disasters.
Eastern Kazakhstan – including Almaty city - is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes, and due to the mountainous terrain, landslides, mudslides, and avalanches are also a risk. Over the period of 2010-2015, 4 devastating floods happened in Kazakhstan’s central and eastern parts, killing more than 50 people and affecting around 70,000 more.
How are we helping?
Since 2007, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has been continuously supporting Kazakhstan through its international disaster preparedness programme popularly known as DIPECHO, focussing on community based preparedness, and working with the Committee of Emergency Situations under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as partners from the NGO community, United Nations family, and the Red Cross and Crescent Societies. To date, DIPECHO funding for Kazakhstan amounts to 3,7 million EURO.
Within its DIPECHO programme, ECHO contributes to the promotion of DRR agenda across the country, working closely with Kazakh national and local authorities in order to increase awareness, preparedness and response capacities of both communities and government institutions.
As part of the current DIPECHO IX cycle (2015-2016), ECHO funds 3 projects in Kazakhstan, for a total of 267, 500 EUR. The projects focus on consolidation and institutionalization of past achievements in the area of DRR as well as following an integrated DRR Resilience approach and strengthening DRR capacities of the governments in Central Asia, with a particular focus on Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has been active in efforts to create the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR) which is operational since January 2016 and based in Almaty. ECHO formerly supported the establishment of the CESDRR and will intervene in further facilitation of its work, focusing among other things on strengthening effective regional DRR cooperation in Central Asia.
Finally, in the period 2013-2015 ECHO contributed several times to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), delivering urgent assistance to communities affected by adverse weather conditions, floods and mudflows in different parts of the country.