Following independence, Kyrgyzstan embarked on a transition to a democratic system of governance and market economy. The so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 brought a new leadership, but frequent public demonstrations and equally frequent changes of state officials contribute towards concerns over stability.
Poverty levels in Kyrgyzstan significantly exceed those in many developed and developing countries. Besides, lately the country has been hit hard by rising food and fuel prices globally and throughout the central Asian region. There exist regional and urban/ rural disparities as well as inequalities between men and women.
The uneven economic development creates the conditions for heightened migration as people move to more prosperous areas within the country and beyond. The growth of its external and internal migration is a cause of concern in Kyrgyzstan.
The population is carrying an increasing burden of ill health associated with poverty, with a rise in the prevalence of diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB). Inadequate water supply and poor sanitary literacy among people are some of the reasons for high intestinal infection rates, particularly among children. The number of HIV cases is growing. While injecting drug use is still the main source of infection, the number of sexual transmissions is increasing. Stigma towards people living with TB and HIV is quite common. Achieving a safe blood supply is also an issue in the country, not least because of the lack of technology and means to recruit voluntary, unpaid donors.
Kyrgyzstan is highly prone to disasters and the direct economic damage caused by natural disasters is rated at millions of US dollars in a normal year. The country also faces the disastrous consequences of being home to large quantities of uranium waste requiring the maintenance of safe tailing sites.
The Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent is the longest established humanitarian organization in the country providing needs based services to the most vulnerable communities. Acting as an auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, the National Society has been making a difference to people's lives through preventive campaigns and support in health and care, social assistance, disaster risk mitigation and response operations, tracing services, international humanitarian law dissemination and the promotion of humanitarian values to tackle discrimination, intolerance and violence in communities.
Working towards the overall goal to carry out effectively the social and humanitarian activities for the benefit of the vulnerable groups of the population - as stated in the strategic development plan - the National Society programming in the coming two years will address the vulnerabilities arising from existing health risks, disasters, inequalities, migration and stigma and discriminative attitudes. The Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent partners include the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the British, German, Netherlands and Spanish Red Cross Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the pilot countries rolling out the operational alliance concept, a component of the International Federation's new operating model. The purpose of the alliance is to most effectively utilize the collective resources of the Movement and other partners to enhance the capacity of the operating National Society to achieve greater impact in its work with vulnerable communities. The alliance in Kyrgyzstan is developing and the National Society is in the driving seat. The British Red Cross is providing in country technical support along the process together with other bilateral and multilateral partners and the International Federation's secretariat. The Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent is building its operational alliance around the National Society integrated programming. The capacity of the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent to deliver the integrated programme, to keep the quality of services at a high level and to be consistent in providing them to the targeted communities needs to be strengthened. Such capacity-building will only be possible if the National Society receives strong support from its partners. The Red Crescent Society has defined the steps to progress with the integrated programme during the transition period that started in June 2008 and is expected to continue until July 2010.
The vision of the new model, the draft strategic work plan for 2009-2010 and the draft activity plan were presented during the partnership meeting held in Bishkek in October 2008. The British, Finnish, German, Netherlands, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross Societies, the ICRC and the Federation secretariat participated in the meeting. The joint statement, produced at the end of the meeting, confirmed the agreement of partners to pursue the integrated community-based model and to support the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent in its efforts according to the mandate, ability and interest and in line with the Red Crescent strategic plan, the Paris Declaration and the principles of good partnership. The partners have committed themselves to concrete actions in support of the change process and the operational alliance. The statement is inviting other Movement partners to join the collective efforts.
The International Federation secretariat's key areas of support in 2009-2010 will include health and care, disaster management, principles and values and National Society capacity-building. This is in line with the Global Agenda goals to reduce the number of deaths, injuries, and impact from disasters; to reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies; to increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability; and to reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity. The main outcomes to be achieved will be:
- reduced vulnerability of communities in disaster-prone areas of the country (community preparedness and risk reduction);
- strengthened capacity of the National Society in disaster preparedness and response (including planning and recovery);
- reduced vulnerability of communities to HIV and Tuberculosis and their impact, as well as to most common diseases and trauma; increased number of non-remunerated blood donations;
- enhanced ability of communities to oppose discrimination, intolerance and violence (including sexual and gender-based) and to promote respect for diversity;
- increased National Society capacity in effective governance and management, human resources and financial management; and improved volunteer capacity;
- the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values are promoted and adequately integrated into Red Crescent operational programmes.
In 2007, the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent joined the Red Cross Red Crescent Global Alliance on HIV to scale up the national HIV programming to reduce the vulnerability to, and impact of, HIV. Today the framework is at the planning stage. The National Society will work towards increasing the number of beneficiaries targeted by current services.
Target beneficiaries directly benefiting from the programmes will be people most vulnerable to illnesses, including groups at a higher risk of HIV infection and its transmission, stigma, discrimination and violence; to risks related to disasters and migration; Red Crescent staff and volunteers and the general public.
The total 2009-2010 budget is CHF 2,391,041 (USD 2,185,595 or EUR 1,522,956).