Disaster risk reduction
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 has been included in teacher training. Disaster risk reduction has also been incorporated into the Ministry of Education and Science’s Education Strategy for 2012-2020.
In 2012, with UNICEF support, more than 3,000 schools and preschools nationwide were assessed on risk vulnerability and safety by engineers and disaster risk reduction experts in order to build a database on school and preschool safety. This is now being used to facilitate development of a state programme on school and pre-school rehabilitation, reinforcement and reconstruction.
Since its foundation, UNICEF has always worked in emergencies, both natural and man-made. It leads the international response for nutrition, water and sanitation, and education, while supporting health and child protection. Since 2009, UNICEF has been leading the corresponding sectors of Kyrgyzstan’s disaster response coordination mechanism. Through this mechanism, UNICEF responds to small and medium-scale natural disasters. For example, when Naryn, Batken and Osh provinces were affected by floods and mudflow in 2012, UNICEF improved the hygiene conditions of affected families by providing hygiene kits and water purification tablets and developing a plan for hygiene education.
The largest humanitarian crisis to have faced Kyrgyzstan in recent years was that caused by the ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. UNICEF’s response to the emergency began with provision of urgent and lifesaving health and water and sanitation supplies. This was complemented by the opening of Child Friendly Centres in 45 affected communities; the provision of psychosocial support to women and children; and the development of a ‘Welcome to School’ campaign, which ensured access to a safe learning environment.