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A country in transition: Reconstructing houses, building the peace, and developing agriculture - ACTED in 2011 continued the shift from emergency and reconstruction towards peace-building, conflict mitigation, and long term development. On 10th June 2010, a violent crisis broke out in the Ferghana valley, Southern Kyrgyzstan, whereby close to 1,900 houses were burnt and approximately 400,000 people were displaced. Following a year of providing predominantly emergency assistance, 2011 has seen ACTED Kyrgyzstan continue to give emergency aid while also assisting in the recovery phase of the country’s development. This has included involvement in health, education, and economic development – partly concerning food distributions and housing constructions for those whose homes were lost. Throughout, ACTED has supported the humanitarian agencies with REACH – an online interactive mapping tool that incorporates socioeconomic data and highlights potential sources of disputes.
Mitigating conflict through mapping, community mobilisation and infrastructure
Following the June 2010 violence, 2011 has seen ACTED balance its projects between essential peace-building activities whilst also maintaining traditional development projects such as providing sports equipment to schools, medical equipment to hospitals, and conflict-affected women with income-generating activities. As first piloted in 2010, ACTED’s REACH Mapping Programme has supported peace-building activities through the collection of data throughout the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan, resulting in this information being mapped on the REACH website (www.reach-initiative.org). The information provided with this tool aims to impact the humanitarian actions taken in the region by giving informed data on the issues facing many of the individual communities in the regions of Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken. ACTED Kyrgyzstan has continued to use REACH throughout 2011, proving to be a useful tool in influencing activities and understanding issues within southern Kyrgyzstan. While peace-building activities have been vital in a post-conflict region, in addition, due to the economic stress caused by the 2010 violence, ACTED has undertaken essential socioeconomic promoting activities. For example, ACTED has assisted conflict-affected women by implementing income-generating activities. Here, the women received small grants and trainings as many then worked in their very own bakeries or with textiles.
Supporting conflict-affected households and communities
2011 has also seen ACTED Kyrgyzstan place a significant focus on catering for those affected by the June 2010 violence through continuing emergency assistance and recovery. In order to help the South of Kyrgyzstan recover, ACTED has constructed houses in Osh and Jalal-Abad in response to the approximately 1,900 houses which were destroyed during the June 2010 violence. Following our involvement in providing shelters to many of those affected, ACTED, in cooperation with other stakeholders, expanded this project in 2011 into a more sustainable development by constructing permanent homes for 482 families. These sturdy, seismic resilient homes are a major step in repairing the physical damage of the June 2010 violence. In addition, ACTED has continued emergency aid in the form of food distributions to vulnerable people. Here, ACTED set up distribution points in the southern regions of Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Naryn. Lists of those who need the food aid were drafted with the aid of the local authorities, resulting in local populations who did not always have the financial means to eat being given some essential food items.
Future prospects for 2012
In 2012, ACTED will continue the shift towards long-term peace-building, conflict mitigation and economic development by working with communities across a range of areas: access to water, health services, livelihood opportunities, improving agricultural activities, disaster risk reduction, and more. ACTED’s REACH programme will continue to play an ever-important role during projects and will be made more widely available through the website being translated into Russian and Kyrgyz – therefore making ACTED’s early warning system more accessible, as well as linking it with mobile phone technologies. In addition, more activities targeting national policy and dialogue will be expected to increase the reach of ACTED into the everyday lives of all citizens. 2012 is set to be a year for ACTED in Kyrgyzstan where it builds on the work being undertaken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – looking at the Ferghana Valley not through the lens of borders, but through the lens of its people. With offices all throughout the region, ACTED will continue working on peace building, disaster risk reduction and development throughout the region.