The Kyrgyz Republic suffers from food insecurity caused not only by a series of climatic and economic shocks, civil strife and inter-ethnic conflict, but also by underlying structural problems that stifle agricultural production. Among these is extremely poor agricultural infrastructure that negatively impacts agricultural productivity.
WFP is committed to improving food security in the Kyrgyz Republic to ensure the country has a sustainable foundation for development through a three-fold strategy: to prevent hunger in the most severely food insecure communities; to help communities to develop a more food secure future; and to support the government in better monitoring and addressing food-insecurity.
In 2011, WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic launched a Protracted and Relief Operation (PRRO) targeting more than half a million people that aims at improving food security nationwide through three main interventions:
Seasonal food assistance, Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) provides fortified food rations to vulnerable, food-insecure households in rural communities throughout the country during the winter and pre-harvest spring lean season. This helps to ensure that the poorest people can feed their families without engaging in harmful coping strategies that could negatively impact their health or livelihoods.
Food-for-Assets (FFA) and Food-for-Training (FFT) programmes offer vulnerable households temporary employment opportunities that include restoration and rehabilitation of community assets, and disaster mitigation and environmental protection projects. In addition to receiving fortified food rations in remuneration for their work, participants and their families benefit from improved, more resilient infrastructure that can lead to a sustainable improvement in their food security situation.
WFP supports the country in strengthening the national system for monitoring food security in order to better predict and respond to food insecurity in an efficient, and timely manner. WFP is coordinating closely with government counterparts including the Ministry of Agriculture and National Statistics Committee to ensure government ownership, sustainability and integration of the system. Also, on a monthly basis, WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic monitors and analyses commodity price developments in both rural and urban areas throughout the country to provide near real time insights into the rapidly changing food security environment, particularly food price and its impact at the household level.
Since 2010, WFP has been conducting twice a year a nation-wide Food Security Assessment (FSA) to provide a timely evidence-based planning of food and nutrition security interventions, as well as to analyse the food security dynamics and trends throughout the country.
In 2013, WFP launched a new development project - School Meals Optimization - to provide the government with technical assistance to improve the country’s national school meals programme. Over the course of this three-year-programme, provide technical assistance to the Kyrgyz government to increase the effectiveness, accountability, sustainability and cost-efficiency of the existing school meals programme, while at the same time building the government’s capacity. WFP is also assisting the government in developing a national school meals policy and implementation strategy. Through the same intervention, WFP will be implementing pilots to introduce more nutritious meals in about 250 selected schools, renovate school canteens and water and sanitation facilities.