Disaster risk reduction

Children, teachers and parents are trained to understand and manage risks and learn how to behave in case of emergencies like floods, landslides or earthquakes

UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2013

The challenge

Kyrgyzstan is facing a number of emergency risks, including increasingly frequent mudslides and floods due to climate change. Being located in seismic area, the country is exposed to frequent earthquakes that can reach 8 and over 9 points on the Richter scale.

Just over the past 5 years, the country saw a number of intensive earthquakes, floods and landslides resulting in significant financial and human losses. This affects children first of all, who are more vulnerable than adults.

A woman shows her house, destroyed  as a result of earthquake
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/Gonzallo Bell
A pregnant woman shows her destroyed house.

Unfortunately, children in Kyrgyzstan are not sufficiently provided with quality Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience education and activities. Throughout the country, 84 per cent of schools and 85 per cent of preschool institutions do not meet minimum safety standards and require immediate renovation or reconstruction.

Thus, more than 1 million children are prone to potential disaster risks.

The main issues to address include the deterioration of school infrastructure, lack of preparedness and weak response-capacity among State institutions in times of emergency. While the normative framework exists, there is a lack of mechanisms on its implementation and oversight, limited financial and human resources.

The solution

Thanks to a UNICEF intervention, safety issues have been incorporated into state preschool educational standards and an educational programme on safe behaviour for preschool children during emergencies. Disaster risk reduction has also been incorporated into the Education Strategy for 2012-2020 of the Ministry of Education and Science.

With the support of UNICEF, the Comprehensive School Safety Framework is being implemented tackling three pillars: a) Safe learning facilities, b) School disaster management and c) Risk Reduction education.

In addition, a “Principles of Everyday Safety” programme for primary and secondary school pupils has been developed along with methodical recommendations and introduced into the national school curriculum.

Children in a kindergarten during the simulation exercise.
UNICEF/Gonzalo Bell

Teachers in 115 educational institutions in Osh, Jalalabad and Batken provinces were trained. Teaching materials have been developed on safety for preschool children in emergencies.

They developed their capacity to understand and manage disaster risk and be prepared for emergencies through training on these topics. This experience has been consolidated in the School-based DRR Guidebook for school administrations, which was developed with UNICEF technical assistance.

With UNICEF support, more than 3000 schools and preschools were assessed on risk vulnerability and safety by engineers.

This work was done to support the Government in ensuring safe learning spaces for children and to build a database on school and preschool safety. Based on the assessment results, the Programme of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic “Safe schools and pre-schools in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2015-2024” was developed, approved and adopted by decree of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Government and development partners are widely using this data to mobilize resources in support of school and pre-school rehabilitation, reinforcement and reconstruction.

safety lesson

In 2016-2017, UNICEF supported the Ministry of Emergency Situations in developing a unified methodology for disaster risk assessment and analysis (DRA), planning, financing and monitoring of activities at the local level.

The result of the work is the "DRA at the local level" guidance. Also, support was provided for strengthening the capacity and equipping the Training Centers of Civil Protection Specialists under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic (Bishkek and Osh). Both Centers already conduct training of municipalities specialists on DRA. This methodology helps municipalities to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities in their territory and incorporate prevention measures in the local development plans.


These resources represent a small selection of materials on disaster risk reduction produced by UNICEF and its partners in Kyrgyzstan. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.


Preschool children safety during emergencies

DRR Education programme

Good practices on school-based DRR

“Assessment of safety in school and pre-school education institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic”. Summary report.

Schools and pre-schools safety webpage

Young lifeguard game (Android)