Government of the United Kingdom grants USD 8 million to UNICEF’s new Equity Programme in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, 13 March 2012 - The Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK Government has granted US$8 million (£5 million) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support conflict prevention, health, education, youth programmes and capacity-development of the local and central authorities focusing on the most disadvantaged communities in southern provinces of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken over the next three years.
“This generous contribution by the DFID will support UNICEF’s programmes aimed at improving the lives of children, young people and communities in the poorest and most isolated areas of the country” said UNICEF’s Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Jonathan Veitch.
UNICEF’s Equity Programme funded through DFID will cover 55 municipalities of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken provinces. This accounts for over 40% of the population in the three provinces excluding Osh and Jalal-Abad towns. The municipalities were selected based on a range of indicators, including acute child poverty, high maternal and child mortality rates, geographical isolation, vulnerability to social and ethnic discord and lack of child protection, education and health services and youth programmes.
The grant will be used to increase access in selected villages to health, child protection and preschool education services, empower youth to improve their employment prospects and enhance inter-ethnic reconciliation. The capacity of the local government administrations, local offices of central ministries and health and education facilities will be strengthened to offer efficient and effective services to targeted groups on an ethnically non-discriminatory basis.
On the occasion of signing the Memorandum of Understanding, DFID Regional Team Leader Mr Bill Kilby said that “The activities supported through this grant will contribute to faster progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) and to peace and stability in Kyrgyzstan through increasing child and family welfare and income-earning opportunities for youth. This project is an important indication of DFID’s continuing support for Kyrgyzstan.”
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