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Kyrgyzstan Updates Contingency Plan in case of Refugee Influx

Bishkek, 27 November – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Ministry of Emergency Situations jointly convened today the 4th High level Working Group meeting to update the Contingency Plan for refugees.

Representatives of Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Security Committee, State Service for Migration, State Border Guards Service, and other Ministries, as well as UN agencies participated in the annual review of the level of preparedness and to establish a working agenda for next year.

“Although we do not foresee a major refugee influx into Kyrgyzstan in the immediate future, it is nevertheless important to keep up the level of emergency preparedness,” UNHCR Representative Maki Shinohara said. Collective review of the contingency plan offers us the opportunity to discuss and confirm who does what amongst relevant actors so that quick actions can be taken in case of an emergency.”

Kyrgyzstan is a land-locked country with vast borders. In the past two decades, the country has received tens of thousands of refugees fleeing unrests in the neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as from Afghanistan. The country also lies on the historic migration route of the Silk Road.

"We are currently responding to the needs of people affected by the recent earthquake in Osh” said Minister of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Kubatbek Boronov, scheduled to attend today’s meeting but was called to travel to the South. “Unlike natural disasters, refugees fleeing persecution in foreign countries have distinctive needs. Kyrgyzstan, which has acceded to International Refugee Convention, has an obligation to assist them.

The contingency plan, which remains an internal document, lays out procedures for the provision of essential services and commodities such as food, water, sanitation, shelter, health, education, registration, protection of children and from sexual and gender-based violence.
In addition to the joint contingency planning, the Ministry of Emergency Situations holds annual Emergency Preparedness Simulation Exercise featuring refugee arrivals to improve interaction and coordination between State agencies, UNHCR and other relief agencies. The Ministry manages a joint stockpile with UNHCR which has donated relief items worth over USD 400,000.