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Japan steps up support to rural women in the Kyrgyz Republic

BISHKEK – The Government of Japan has made a contribution of US$600,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support rural women in the Kyrgyz Republic so they can play a greater role in entrepreneurship and farming.

This donation will build on the proven success of women’s empowerment activities implemented by WFP over the last few years in partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development. 

This contribution will help WFP to reach more than 15,500 vulnerable people in the rural areas of Naryn, Talas, Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken provinces with support to build income-related assets such as fruit and vegetable gardens and to create small businesses while improving rural infrastructure. 

“WFP is grateful for the continuous commitment from Japan to improving food security and nutrition initiatives for rural women,” said Andrea Bagnoli, Country Director of WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic. “Supporting women-led businesses is the smartest investment to improve the food security and nutrition of vulnerable households and boost local development.”

Through this programme, WFP aims to expand women-led food-processing businesses to produce dairy products, wool, jams and pickles as well as dried fruits and vegetables – all on a commercial scale. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide high-quality equipment as well as technical and operational expertise to increase the capacity of Kyrgyz women producers. 

“We are proud that our contributions are being utilized efficiently and are reaching key target populations enabling rural women to take the driver’s seat in leading local developments. WFP’s proven success in the economic empowerment of rural women in the Kyrgyz Republic inspired the decision to extend our support,” said Yoshihiro Yamamura, Ambassador of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic. “We are honoured to join forces with WFP to invest in women to boost economic development and the well-being of rural communities in the Kyrgyz Republic.”  

WFP will also use the funds to provide women with training on crop production, storage, processing and marketing, which will be delivered through a national short-term training programme, Skills, Knowledge and Practices (SKaP). 

SKaP was developed with WFP support as a vocational programme for low-income families. To date, the project has provided support to about 10,000 rural households, most of them headed by women.

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For more information please contact:
WFP: Elizabeth Zalkind, WFP/Bishkek, Email:, Tel: +993 312 660033, Mobile: +996 555 940 420