On 16 February the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) donated another batch of IT equipment at the value of 1,770,000 KGS to the Refugee Unit of the State Migration Service (SMS). Part of longstanding UNHCR-SMS cooperation in the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, the equipment will further strengthen the ability of the SMS to deliver services to refugees and asylum seekers in the pandemic situation.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Kyrgyzstani authorities to ensure protection of refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights in the situation exacerbated by COVID-19 challenges. We also reiterate our readiness to further advise and support the government and authorities in strengthening the national asylum system and related work in accordance with international law and standards,” said Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
As the pandemic situation, naturally, also threatened the protection and livelihoods of refugees and asylum-seekers, the UN Refugee Agency supported the State Migration Service with technical and personal protective equipment to ensure its asylum system remained operational while observing precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
Ten years ago, Mr. Schodder had been bestowed with the Dank award for outstanding contributions to peace and harmony in the Kyrgyz Republic. Meeting the Government and authorities in Bishkek this week, Mr. Schodder looks forward to receiving reassurances that 702 refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons currently registered in the Kyrgyz Republic will be granted equal access to the forthcoming voluntary COVID-19 vaccination on a par with citizens.
Besides being a health challenge, COVID-19 also posed humanitarian challenges, including to displaced people. UNHCR continues supporting governmental partners to ensure protecting and preserving the rights, health, and dignity of refugees and asylum seekers in the Kyrgyz Republic.