A woman returns home with her children from the community’s kindergarten, in Samarkandek village in Batken District, Batken Province. The school is among those piloting the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programme. [#8 IN SEQUENCE OF EIGHT]

In June 2011, Kyrgyzstan continues to be prone to natural and man-made hazards, including earthquakes, mud flows, avalanches, landslides and floods. This is, in part, due to global climate changes, which increase the regularity, scale and impact of hazards around the world. Nevertheless, hazards only become disasters when a society’s ability to cope within existing resources is overwhelmed; when this occurs, the poor and marginalized – of those, especially children – are most at risk. UNICEF has joined the Government and NGO partners to create the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programme – supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – to better prepare at-risk children for these potential emergencies. The Programme is guided by the Hyogo Framework for Action, a plan endorsed by 168 countries in 2005 to reduce disaster risks worldwide. The DRR Programme in Kyrgyzstan involves the implementation of standardized DRR training in the national school curriculum so that children can identify different types of natural disasters and know how to respond to each in practical ways. UNICEF is also working with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Emergencies to mainstream DRR into policy documents.