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The signing ceremony for the KYRGYZSTAT project marked another significant milestone in the cooperation between the two parties, following a similar UNFPA-led and Russia-supported programme in Belarus.

“The KYRGYZSTAT project will make an important contribution to strengthening the capacity of Kyrgyzstan’s national statistics system to produce reliable, timely and accurate population data in line with internationally accepted methodology and best practices,” said Alanna Armitage, Director of UNFPA’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. “It will strengthen capacities to develop population projections that can be used to capture — and shape — economic and social trends in the Kyrgyz Republic in the years to come.”

The project will facilitate the upgrading of the Kyrgyz Republic’s civil registration and vital statistics system, transferring some 13 million archived records from paper to digital format, and integrating automated information systems on migration and vital statistics. Almost half of the project budget will be devoted to preparing and carrying out the country’s 2020 population and housing census according to international standards. The project will also work to improve interaction between the statistics office and the media and general public, to increase trust and transparency and to make data more accessible.

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is deeply rooted in the availability of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data, especially with regards to population, to ensure that no one is left behind,” said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, the newly appointed Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. “This poses an extra burden on national statistical offices, which will require investments in personnel, surveys and in other forms of data production. In addition, it represents an opportunity for innovation in the ways official statistics are produced.”

The Russian Federation has emerged in recent years as an important donor for population and development initiatives in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. The UNFPA-led and Russia-supported projects in Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic both aim to strengthen the capacity of CIS states to understand, anticipate and manage population trends for sustained future development.

In Kyrgyzstan, the collaboration between UNFPA and Russia will contribute to the implementation of Kyrgyzstan’s Development Strategy 2040 and the government’s Taza Koom project, which aims at switching to a technology-based and transparent governance system. It will also help build an evidence base for implementing the ICPD Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Kyrgyz Republic — and for establishing indicators and baselines that allow for monitoring progress.

Ambassador Mirgul Moldoisaeva, Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic, stressed the importance of data for implementing development and sustainability goals, and highlighted the crucial role UNFPA plays in assisting with the strengthening of data systems.

“Investing in data is an investment in our future,” said UNFPA’s Armitage. “We are very grateful that the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation join UNFPA in believing in the power of population data to highlight development challenges, pinpoint those in need and unlock the potential of a nation’s people. We look forward to the success of this project for the Kyrgyz people and their future.”