1. Home
  2. Asia
  3. Kyrgyzstan

Energy crisis hits vulnerable groups hardest

A centre for children with special needs in Batken, southern Kyrgyzstan
(Gulnara Mambetalieva/IRIN)

Disadvantaged children and other vulnerably groups like elderly pensioners are bearing the brunt of the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan, and the situation is not being helped by the poor response to a UN emergency appeal in December.



“Despite the fact that this winter in Kyrgyzstan has been mild, the most vulnerable groups… are in great distress,” Raja Berrada Msefer, deputy representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kyrgyzstan, told IRIN.



“Thirty children’s centres need help and generators but with the funds that we have we can only help those who are in the greatest need. We can only help 10 of these centres,” said Msefer.



According to Neal Walker, head of the UN Development Programme in Kyrgyzstan, the UN drew up plans to mitigate the effects of a severe winter on the most vulnerable groups, and avoid what happened in Tajikistan in 2008.



The result was a US$20 million UN appeal which said 580,000 people needed food aid and 10,000 needed non-food aid items; 336 medical facilities and 50 non-health organisations needed power generators. The homeless and streetchildren were prioritised.



Ali Buzurukov of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Almaty (Kazakhstan) told IRIN that currently about $2.2 million, or 11 percent of the requested amount, had been provided.



“This is very little… and not sufficient for the solution of problems,” Buzurukov told IRIN.



Permanent food shortages, health and the lack of economic resources were the main concerns, said Walker.



“UNICEF is working to find shelter for these children - where they can stay warm, where they will have warm blankets and food, and where they can receive all things necessary for survival,” UNICEF’s Msefer said.



gm/at/cb


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join