The health crisis, caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, has led to a profound economic crisis in the Kyrgyz Republic, as the country sees its economy slow down and its budgetary expenses rise. Adding to the already fragile situation caused by the pandemic, the recent political crisis and the resulting instability have led to even more uncertain prospects. The resultant negative socio-economic shocks are having severe consequences on food security.
DECREASES IN HOUSEHOLD INCOME THREATEN ACCESS TO NUTRITIOUS FOOD - MACRO ANALYSIS
According to the National Statistics Committee (NSC), in 2020 the Kyrgyz Republic’s GDP amounted to 598.3 billion Kyrgyz soms (KGS), a decrease of 8.6% compared to 2019. Negative trends were observed in the construction, wholesale and retail trade sectors.
As elsewhere, the contraction in economic growth has led to a decline in the population’s income -experienced by 54% of households - and to an increase in the unemployment rate, leaving a large number of people unemployed and without sources of income. A recent assessment on the impact of COVID-19 shows that unemployment may be more severe than predicted as 22% of households reported that at least one member had lost his/her job. Using these results, the minimum number of newly unemployed could be estimated around 344,200 people or 13.3% of economically active population4. Adding to the 140,900 people (5.5% of economically active population) who were unemployed prior to the crisis, assuming they had not found employment in the meantime, the estimated minimum unemployment rate reaches 18.8%.