What are the needs?
Kyrgyzstan is frequently affected by natural disasters that have a strong impact on the population, livelihoods and national economy. The country’s territory is exposed to a variety of natural hazards, and in recent years the rising temperatures due to climate change are exacerbating the impact of climate-related disasters. Mudslides are frequent and dangerous, causing widespread human and material damage: some 5 000 potential active landslide sites have been identified in the country, and from 1990 to 2008 some 425 landslides were registered across the country, with 88 people killed.
Lying in a region with high to very high seismic hazards, earthquakes are also common across Kyrgyzstan, with the two largest cities Bishkek and Osh at risk. Most recently, in November 2015, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Osh oblast damaged over 3 000 houses and 109 public facilities, including schools and medical centres. ECHO, the EC's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, responded with emergency funds to support the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society in the provision of immediate relief to the affected communities.
The largest ECHO humanitarian intervention in the country, however, took place after the ethnic violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010 that led to the death of some 1 000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of families, after which ECHO made €8.5 million available. The funds were used to provide conflict-affected people with food, shelter and non-food items (NFI).
How are we helping?
Since 1994, ECHO has delivered approximately €33.5 million in humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, including €8.5 million of funding for emergency responses to the major ethnic conflict-induced displacement in South Kyrgyzstan in 2010.
Since 2003, ECHO has been mainly intervening in Kyrgyzstan through its international disaster preparedness programme popularly known as DIPECHO, focusing on a community-based approach and working with the Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as partners from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) community, United Nations family, and the Red Cross and Crescent Societies.
DIPECHO-funded projects increase the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of local communities and institutions by supporting strategies which enable them to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to natural disasters. Through the current DIPECHO cycle (2016-2017), ECHO is funding five projects implemented by NGOs and UN agencies. The projects focus on consolidation and institutionalisation of past achievements in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) as well as following an integrated DRR Resilience approach and strengthening the DRR capacities of the governments in Central Asia, with a particular focus on Kyrgyzstan. The total funding for DIPECHO IX is €5.8 million (jointly with funding for Southern Caucasus), of which about €0.6 million are used in Kyrgyzstan, the second largest recipient of DIPECHO funds in the Central Asia region.
Please also see the above section on political relations.