Switzerland supports the Kyrgyz Republic in building the disaster risk resilience of vulnerable communities

Local news, 28.03.2023

The Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) of the Kyrgyz Republic and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have established two automated gabion net production workshops in Chui and Osh provinces and improved the capacity of the digital disaster monitoring and early warning systems of MES. 

Gabion net production © the UN World Food Programme, 2023.

Thanks to the support from the Government of Switzerland, two modern production lines and four trucks were handed over to the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Through this project, the MES moved from manual to automated local production of gabion nets, allowing the two workshops to manufacture the required amount of gabion nets annually, increasing the production rate by four times. The trucks will deliver the much-needed gabion nets to far away regions throughout the country in a timely manner and shorten the lead time for emergency assistance. Additionally, the information technology infrastructure for disaster monitoring and early warning systems were improved. This contribution will significantly enhance the ability of MES to protect the livelihoods of vulnerable population and ultimately reduce the impact of climate change on food and nutrition security.


“The Government of Switzerland will continue to support vulnerable communities prone to natural disasters. We are proud to provide the Ministry of Emergency Situations the resources to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change and build a systemic approach in managing hazards, such as droughts, mudslides and floods,” said the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic Olivier Bangerter.


With the automated system and quality assurance processes in place, the workshops, operating on a Public-Private Partnership basis, will allow the country to produce the necessary gabion nets required. Previously, large bulk of the gabion nets were imported from abroad. Produced gabion nets will be used to strengthen slopes, protect riverbed and banks and other disaster prevention measures.


“We thank the Government of Switzerland for this effective contribution and its commitment in supporting the vulnerable communities in rural and mountainous areas. WFP will continue to closely work with the Government at all levels, to facilitate the shift from disaster response to disaster risk management and allowing sustainable and transformative changes among vulnerable rural communities affected by the climate change,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Kojiro Nakai.


In January 2023, the Government of Switzerland has allocated over USD 9.2 million to WFP’s pillar aimed at building the resilience of the most vulnerable rural communities against climate change and disaster risks. This component is being implemented by WFP in partnership with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic. The activities within the pillar will cover Osh, Batken, Jalalabad and Naryn provinces and support around 250,000 most vulnerable households, as well as targeted local authorities and institutions at the national level. Reliable and timely climate information, disaster-resilient planning and selected infrastructure support will be provided to the beneficiaries. In 2022, USD 2.2 million was allocated by the Government of Switzerland to this component.


Local news, 05.04.2023

The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Akylbek Japarov and the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Olivier Bangerter today inaugurated the At Bashy Hydropower Plant renovated with a Swiss grant contribution of USD 20 million. 

The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Mr. Akylbek Japarov and the Ambassador of Switzerland Mr. Olivier Bangerter are shaking hands © https://www.gov.kg

The Kyrgyz Republic faces challenges in the electricity sector that have become more acute in recent years; increasing demand and insufficient generation have led to an energy deficit, especially in winters.  Because of this acute challenge, Switzerland supports Kyrgyzstan in the energy sector as well.


The At Bashy Hydropower Plant was rehabilitated together by Switzerland and OJC “Electric Power Plants”, with combined investments of approximately USD 25 million (20 million from Switzerland); this was urgently needed and touched three main areas: 1) Replacement of the electricity production equipment (4 generations units); 2) Civil construction works to enhance the dam’s safety; and 3) Institutional and corporate management development.


Thanks to this rehabilitation, the power output of the Hydropower Plant has increased from 40 to 44 MW. This will lead to financial performance improvements and better electricity supply services. This project will contribute to the development of Naryn region by ensuring a reliable supply of electricity to the population and businesses. In addition, the personnel of the Hydropower Plant received training on management skills as well as towards the operation and maintenance of the newly installed equipment.


"The hydropower potential of the Kyrgyz Republic is very high, we have about 40 thousand rivers, glaciers, with four of the highest peaks in the world. We are ready to use this potential and create all conditions for future investors. A direct proof of this is the reconstruction completion of the At Bashy Hydropower Plant. From now on the At-Bashy HPP will not only provide the population of the Naryn province with stable electric power, but will also make a great contribution to the social and economic development of the whole region," said the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic Akylbek Japarov and expressed his gratitude to the Swiss Government for the support in reconstruction of the At Bashy HPP.


“The project will strengthen the energy security of Naryn region for the benefit of the local population. It will also lead to a more efficient use of water resources, something essential because of the effects of climate change. We are sure that with investments in people, procedures and infrastructure, this project contributed to a more reliable energy supply”, said Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic Olivier Bangerter.


Since Kyrgyzstan's independence, Switzerland has invested around USD 55 million in the Kyrgyz energy sector and plans to continue to provide support in this sector in coming years.