President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and UNRC Ozonnia Ojielo Discuss COVID-19 Response
Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in the Kyrgyz Republic Ozonnia Ojielo met on 6 April with President Sooronbai Jeenbekov. They discussed the emerging challenges in the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the collective efforts made to suppress the spread, limit its impact on the socio-economic situation, and set a stage for early recovery.
The President outlined the measures taken by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to contain the outbreak and discussed the urgent needs and potential impact of COVID-19 on the budget, the economy and the lives of vulnerable people, emphasizing that this crisis can only be overcome with collective effort.
The UN Resident Coordinator Ozonnia Ojielo informed about the work that is being carried out by the UN in Kyrgyzstan. In particular, he noted that through the Disaster Response Coordination Unit, activated on 16 March 2020 following the request of the Government, the DRCU led the development of Inter-agency Response and Early Recovery Plan across six sectors of response, working closely with national counterparts and development partners. He pointed out that the Response Plan anticipates mobilization of about 51 million USD to support the country in mitigating the health, social and economic impact of COVID-19.
The sides discussed specific measures taken in the areas health and food security and importance of whole-of-society approach to the crisis.
The President expressed his gratitude to the UN for the support to the country and for the programmes that are being implemented. He referenced the humanitarian appeal and the Multi-Partner Trust Fund on the socio-economic crisis launched by the UN Secretary General as crucial mechanisms for supporting countries in dealing with the crisis.
UNRC congratulated the President on Kyrgyzstan’s eliminating statelessness, and highlighted that continuing this approach would enable everyone to come out of the shadows and be counted in the health response, including those in the penitentiary system, which would enable a comprehensive approach so that no one is overlooked, and thereby avoiding a recurrence.
The UN Resident Coordinator expressed the readiness of the UN in Kyrgyzstan to continue supporting the government and people in overcoming the problems caused by the spread of the disease.
Chaired by the UNRC, the DRCU prioritizes and channels its support under six priority sectors: early recovery, education, food security and logistics, health, protection, and joint sector for water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and non-food items (NFI). The DRCU was set up in 2008 and its inter-agency teams comprise representatives of government ministries, UN agencies, international and local NGOs and representatives of donor community.