The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) spent nearly $6 million this year in Kyrgyzstan, where it is assisting 240,000 conflict-affected people in the south and 380,000 other vulnerable people in six out of seven of the country’s provinces.
This is the largest amount ever spent by the agency in a single year in the Central Asian nation, WFP stated in a news release.
The funds were spent on activities such as buying food and leasing transport, which were required to respond to the needs of those affected by the crisis in April and the impact it had on markets and livelihoods.
“Supporting local markets as much as possible is a cornerstone of WFP engagement in a country and a fundamental component of our humanitarian response policy,” said Rasmus Egendal, WFP Representative and Country Director. “This type of ‘investment’ helps to stabilise markets and create employment.”
The violent uprising in April that ousted former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev as well as the ethnic clashes that erupted in southern Kyrgyzstan in June uprooted thousands of people and left them in need of humanitarian assistance.
Throughout the year, WFP distributed 20,000 metric tons of food, of which 8,500 was bought through Kyrgyz companies.
The agency, which began its operation in Kyrgyzstan in 2008, hopes to extend its support to local companies and food producers in the coming year as it continues to reach out to people who are chronically food insecure.