The Kyrgyz Republic, a landlocked country in Central Asia, and home to 6.5 million inhabitants, including an estimated 300,000 internally displaced people and 90,000 refugees. Most of the population lives in rural areas to the north and west of the country, with just over a third living within urban environments.
Kyrgyzstan is in one of the poorest countries in the region, where around a quarter of the population is living under the poverty line with around 1% living in extreme poverty.
Agriculture plays an important role in the Kyrgyz Republic, employing nearly half the population.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Kyrgyzstan since 1999.
Around 32% of children live in monetary poverty in Kyrgyzstan, exceeding 43% in children under 6 years old.
When other forms of deprivation are included such as education, housing and health, more than 50% of children are deprived, exceeding 85% in children under 2 years old.
Not only are children disproportionately affected by poverty, but they are more vulnerable to its effects. Children who live in poverty face long-term consequences on their life.
Almost 40% of children do not have access to education appropriate for their age specific. As a result, as many do not attend pre-school and school. In addition, children from low income families are less likely to attend school.
Almost 40% of school-age children contribute to family income through child labour.
Missed education and child labour rob children of their childhoods, and deprive them of their rights.
Children in low-income families live precariously on the margins of society, in, or at risk of, falling into poverty where their basic needs can no longer be met.
In Kyrgyzstan, almost 85% of children live in overcrowded housing and/or do not have access to a hot water supply. In addition, 34% do not have access to a supply of drinking water.
Children born into poverty are more likely to experience a wide range of health problems, including poor nutrition, chronic disease, and mental health problems.