On 21 January the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated personal protective equipment to the National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic for conducting the national population census in conditions of COVID-19 pandemic. This is a part of UNHCR’s ongoing support to the authorities efforts to reduce and prevent statelessness in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Having resolved all known cases of statelessness in 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic created conditions to – like many other states in the region and globally – become party to the two UN Stateless Conventions. States together with the then High Commissioner for Refugees, now Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, in 2014 launched the Global #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024.
“To prevent a re-occurrence of statelessness, the UN Refugee Agency offers advice and support to the Kyrgyz Republic becoming party to and implementing the two universal statelessness conventions – within the scope and timeline of the IBelong campaign”, said Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
Measuring the full extent of statelessness is complex given that stateless people are often undocumented and remain unseen and unheard. National censuses are an important tool for collecting valuable information on the size and profile of populations, including stateless person.
Data on statelessness received through population and housing census assist policy makers to better understand the problem and how it can be resolved and prevented.
On 21 January in Bishkek, UNHCR donated 113,886 five-layer KN95 respirators to the National Statistics Committee, which will ensure safe working conditions for census enumerators and their clients.
The national population census in the Kyrgyz Republic was set to be carried out in 2020. However, the spread of COVID – 19 and the introduction of quarantine measures have brought significant adjustments to census campaigns and changes in timeframes.