Development Dialogue Tackles Food Security and Nutrition in Kyrgyzstan
Government representatives, development partners and experts gathered in Bishkek on Friday November 23rd 2018 to share inputs on food security and nutrition in Kyrgyzstan. The half-day Development Dialogue, “Food Security and Nutrition in Kyrgyzstan – Trends, Challenges and the Next Steps”, was co-organised by the United Nations (UN) system in Kyrgyzstan, and the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA).
From L to R: Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman, UCA Board of Trustees, Mr. Ozonnia Ojielo, UNDP Resident Representative to Kyrgyzstan, and Mr. Erkin Checheibaev, Deputy Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, deliver welcome remarks at the dialogue forum.
The Development Dialogue on food security and nutrition comes amid the discussion around the draft National Food Security and Nutrition Programme for 2018-2023, developed by the Kyrgyz Government in September 2018. Participants, including high level government representatives, parliamentarians, development partners, researchers, experts and civil society representatives shared inputs on current challenges in food security in Kyrgyzstan, the draft programme on food security and nutrition, recommendations for policy development, and regional nutritional capacity development, and partnership platform.
“Since the beginning of the century, food security and nutrition situation has improved, however, the nutrition structure needs improvement towards a more balanced content,” said Dr. Kanat Tilekeyev, Senior Research Fellow at UCA’s IPPA, during his presentation. “State service functions in agriculture need to be strengthened, rather than market interventions; and farmers should be prioritised in strategic programmes as main food producers.”
The UN-UCA Development Dialogue Series will comprise of six dialogues, organised over the course of one year, to initiate consultation among government, development partners, civil society, private sector and academia on critical development subjects. The objective is to help break down traditional sector silos and enhance horizontal and vertical policy coherence, integration, and partnerships to inform policy formulation in Kyrgyzstan. Each dialogue is designed to include presentations of thematic issues by key stakeholders, a Q&A session, and an open substantive discussion that will be published as a thematic policy brief.
“Through the Development Dialogues initiative, we as One UN will be continuing our policy support to advise the national partners on long-term focus on approaches for inter-related dimensions of sustainable development, ensuring underlying emphasis on the commitment to leave no one behind, applying multi-stakeholder approaches and boosting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Ozonnia Ojielo, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan.
“Food security is a key issue that impacts economic security and sustainable development of the Kyrgyz Republic,” noted Anarkul Bekkulieva, Head of the Department for Food Security and Agro Marketing of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic. “Development partners provide significant support to the development of the National Program of Food Security, which includes increasing production of food for domestic consumption, ensuring accessibility of food for people of Kyrgyzstan.”