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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[16.12.23] Kyrgyzstan: ADB Emergency Loan to Repair Landslide and Flood Damage

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced an emergency loan for Kyrgyzstan towards repairing infrastructure badly damaged by floods and landslides earlier this year.
"The loan is [towards] carrying out 19 infrastructure sub-projects selected from a list of 52 provided by the [Kyrgyz] government. These sub-projects are chosen because they were among the most severely damaged areas," Graham Dwyer, the ADB's external relations specialist, told IRIN from Manila on Tuesday.
Dwyer said the loan would assist towards expediting the repair of some of the most severely damaged infrastructure in order to restore economic and social activity, with the longer-term goal of sustaining economic growth and poverty reduction. More than 128,000 people in 78 villages were expected to benefit.
According to the ADB, the project will repair roads, bridges, and power lines and build four schools in locations less prone to natural disasters in the provinces of Chui, Issyk-Kul, Jalal-Abad, and Osh. In a statement, the ADB said the project would also build municipal infrastructure for two permanent resettlement centers being established by the government for disaster-affected people in Osh.
The bank is working in close coordination with other development agencies on the issue. "For example, the World Bank has programmed a US $5 million natural disaster-mitigation project for 2004. The ADB will focus on roads, bridges, power lines, schools and municipal infrastructure, while the World Bank will cover damaged irrigation facilities and help address disaster- prevention issues," Dwyer said.
Kyrgyzstan suffered unusually high rainfalls in the spring and summer of this year. In the southern provinces of Jalal-Abad and Osh, rainfall was 50 percent above average, resulting in the most severe landslides and floods seen since 1994. According to the ADB, some 1,000 landslides occurred throughout Kyrgyzstan during the first eight months of 2003, when the normal annual rate is between 15 and 20. Forty-three people were killed, 1,088 families lost their homes, 6,000 ha of agricultural land were damaged, and more than 300,000 people were affected. Total damage was about $13.5 million.
"There needs to be strong government commitment to rehabilitation to ensure the success of such emergency rehabilitation projects. Capacity building within executing and implementing agencies is badly needed, because their limited institutional capacity has been a major factor in implementation delays," Dwyer noted, adding that the project design had taken into account some of these needs.
The government is expected to contribute $1.3 million to meet the total cost of $6.3 million. The Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations is the executing agency for the project, which is due to be completed by March 2007.

IRIN, December 16, 2003

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