In 2009, the UN system has successfully formulated the One UN Programme. It is a two-year response of the UN system to the effects of energy, food and economic insecurities in the country. The UN is fully aware that these insecurities are chronic and recurrent and significantly compromise the coping mechanisms of the most vulnerable, and hindering the country's progress towards achieving the MDGs. The One UN Programme is an appropriate response to this context and combines short- and medium-term interventions to provide sustainable support to vulnerable groups to mitigate the effects of these multiple crises. This approach has been fully supported by the President and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as well by the UN system globally. As a result, the UNCT was honored to be selected by the UN Regional Directors Team as one of two new countries in 2010 to present the One UN Programme for funding under the Expanded Delivering as One Window (DaO).
Over the past two years, Kyrgyzstan has been experiencing a convergence of food and energy insecurity that has had serious effects on the livelihoods of vulnerable groups in the country. A harsh winter, followed by low precipitation during spring and summer of 2008, has led to depletion of the country’s hydroelectric resources and compromised the energy resilience of Kyrgyzstan; soaring food and fuel prices, adverse weather conditions and declining remittances further limited the purchasing power of the most vulnerable and contributed to a precarious food security situation for some. Although some of the sharp declines in global food prices are now being passed on to Kyrgyz households, official statistics show that food prices are still more than 40 per cent above the levels seen before the start of the food crisis in 2007.
In 2008 in response to this situation, the United Nations, in consultation with the Government of Kyrgyzstan and other humanitarian partners, issued a Humanitarian Flash Appeal for around $14,8 million to ensure backup power systems for critical facilities and to meet the basic needs of the 800,000 most vulnerable people in the country. In total, nearly $9 million, or 61 per cent of the total funds appealed for under the Flash Appeal were received.
Since the launch of the Flash Appeal, the global recession has had a serious impact on the Kyrgyz Republic, which has suffered sharp reductions in remittances and external trade. Economic problems threaten to reverse trends of poverty reduction in Kyrgyzstan. There are concerns that many people in the most vulnerable strata of society are excluded from the benefits of government social spending due to eligibility criteria or difficulties in collecting the required documentation. In many cases, these are also the people who have been hit hardest by electricity rationing, chronic food insecurity, and reduced access to healthcare and education. At the same time, it is clear that the best solutions are not humanitarian but are those based on sustainable development principles.
The concept of the One UN Programme was developed in consultation with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as a more appropriate response than continued Humanitarian Appeals. It is a framework for planning and response of the UN system addressing the effects of energy and food insecurity and the global economic crisis on the most vulnerable in the country.
All interventions will be implemented rapidly, based on the demonstrated capacity of the individual UN agencies involved, on the use of proven approaches and on the principles of sustainability.
A series of constructive discussions has led to the categorization of the One UN Programme’s interventions into sets of Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 interventions. The ‘tiers’ reflect the ‘urgency to act’ whereby Tier 1 includes projects and joint programmes that need to be implemented most urgently in order to reduce the impact of the multiple crisis on the most vulnerable and to sustainably improve their livelihoods.
Funding of a total USD 3.6 million was committed for the implementation of the One UN Programme in Kyrgyzstan in 2010. This sum represents core UN funding granted to the UN system in Kyrgyzstan to be allocated to projects determined jointly between the United Nations and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic through the Joint Steering Committee.
Following the meeting of the One Programme Joint Steering Committee on March 9th, 2010 specific funding allocations were allocated to the proposed projects in six thematic areas: social services, food security, agriculture, energy, environment, and risk management.
Joint resource mobilization efforts are ongoing to ensure that all the interventions identified under the One UN Programme will receive necessary funding.