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, 31.01.2023

The Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic and the World Bank today signed an agreement for an $8 million grant funding provided by the Swiss Government as a contribution to the Electricity Sector Modernization and Sustainability Project led by the World Bank. 

The Grant Agreement was signed by Mr. Almaz Baketaev, Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Mr. Naveed Hassan Naqvi, World Bank’s Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic, in the presence of the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Olivier Bangerter.

From left to right: Ambassador Olivier Bangerter, Minister Almaz Baketaev and Mr. Naveed Hassan Naqvi are shaking hands after the signing ceremony © the Swiss Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, 2023

The electricity sector in the Kyrgyz Republic faces challenges that have become more acute in recent years, driven by energy deficit due to insufficient generation, especially in winters. The total losses in the sector are about 20 percent of net generation, more than twice as high as commercial and technical losses in high- and some middle-income countries. About half of generation capacity and up to 70 percent of distribution assets are beyond their useful lives, leading to equipment failures and overloading across the country.  Moreover, the Kyrgyz Republic has one of the lowest electricity tariff rates in the world. The sector is heavily indebted, with cumulative debt of above KGS 137 billion (equivalent to over $1.5 billion) or around 20 percent of the GDP, placing a heavy fiscal burden on the country.

"Together we can implement anti-crisis measures to stabilize the economy and minimize economic risks for Kyrgyzstan", said Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic Almaz Baketaev. 

The project, with combined investments of $58 million, will finance urgently needed investments in four main areas: 1) rehabilitation and upgrade of distribution networks; 2) digitalization of distribution networks; 3) strengthening of social protection systems; and 4) institutional development to help design and implement priority energy sector reforms.

"Due to the cold weather, the Kyrgyz Republic has reached a historical peak of electricity consumption, and the energy sector professionals are working hard to pass through this winter season. There is an urgent need for the energy sector to modernize, grow sustainably and become an engine for the country’s green growth," said Naveed Hassan Naqvi, World Bank’s Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. "The World Bank fully supports the comprehensive vision for the energy sector and reform roadmap over the next decade that have been developed by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic."

Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic Olivier Bangerter noted that the new project will help to improve the financial performance, ensure a reliable electricity supply for the people and businesses, and create a supportive social protection mechanism to the vulnerable groups. "The project’s aim is to strengthen energy security of the Kyrgyz Republic; it will also lead to better use of water resources, something essential because of the consequences of climate change for the country. We hope that with investments in people, procedures and infrastructure, this project will contribute to a more reliable energy supply."

The Electricity Sector Modernization and Sustainability Project will be implemented through 2028 and will comply with strict international standards including procurement and financial management regulations and anti-corruption guidelines.