UN appeals for 20 million to help 800000 people in Kyrgyzstan this

“Kyrgyzstan has never before launched an international appeal and has been on a steady path to development,” said Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator for the country.But low water levels in the Toktogul hydroelectric dam, which feeds Kyrgyzstan’s main electricity artery, are threatening power supplies, with a cold snap earlier this year causing a surge in electricity demand.The funds will be used to ensure that almost 350 health-care centres have back-up power and that the 2 million residents of the country’s three largest cities have uninterrupted water supplies.Additionally, soaring food and fuel prices, poor weather and the declining amount of remittances due to the global economic slowdown are driving many people to food insecurity.A recent UN World Food Programme (WFP) study found that one in five Kyrgyz households – or 1 million people – face health risks because they are eating less food with less nutritional value, and this new appeal seeks to help the 580,000 of these people most in need of relief.The money raised by the appeal, which covers the period from this month to May 2009, will also be used to provide more than 200,000 people with shelter assistance.“The urgent implementation of priority development interventions defined in [the] country’s development strategy, strengthened by early recovery programmes, will help build [a] Kyrgyzstan that does not need annual humanitarian appeals,” Mr. Walker said. 1 December 2008The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today launched a $20 million appeal to guarantee back-up power supplies in Kyrgyzstan for crucial facilities such as medical centres and to help 800,000 vulnerable citizens as part of efforts to address significant energy shortages at the start of the Central Asian nation’s tough winter season.

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