Central Asia

Operational information on the Central Asia subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:

| Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan |


Subregion: Central Asia


Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Asia

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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"budget":[22.88429304,18.10424758,16.60239248,14.66960535,14.67845337],"expenditure":[10.88408856,9.50114653,9.91686891,9.66512855,6.90699052]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"p1":[12.50670353,10.69836272,10.12037679,9.01942936,9.8489543],"p2":[2.87240321,3.36044574,4.0248484,3.9926304,4.82949907],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[7.5051863,4.04543912,2.45716729,1.65754559,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"p1":[5.69367151,6.13063122,5.58755005,5.26348795,4.07905485],"p2":[1.66234494,2.0418551,2.89679687,3.13810874,2.82793567],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[3.52807211,1.32866021,1.43252199,1.26353186,null]}
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People of Concern - 2016

[["Refugees",3775],["Asylum-seekers",688],["Returned refugees",3],["Stateless",120055]]
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Response in 2016

By the end of year, the Central Asia hosted over 4,000 refugees, 96 per cent of whom were Afghans, close to 700 asylum-seekers and 117,700 people under UNHCR’s statelessness mandate, 10 per cent decrease compared to 2015 for people under the statelessness mandate. At least 11,000 of the over 117,000 people acquired a nationality or had their nationality confirmed in 2016. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also made legislative changes, with a view to preventing and reducing statelessness. The President of Uzbekistan signed a decree by which 179 stateless people became Uzbek nationals in December 2016, and Turkmenistan granted nationality to more than 1,380 stateless people in a single day. In September, UNHCR’s regional office in Almaty organized a regional Conference on the accession to the Statelessness Conventions.
In line with the Almaty Process, regional guidelines were developed to improve referral mechanisms from the borders, which is a top priority for the whole region. This supported the efforts of country offices and tangible developments were seen in Kyrgyzstan (with two draft regulations on entry for individual and mass arrivals), in Tajikistan (with the reactivation of the Inter-agency working group on referral mechanisms) and in Kazakhstan (with the display of information stands on asylum at border points). Key priority of the regional policy issued by UNHCR’s regional office in Almaty focused on achieving solutions for refugees with an emphasis on local integration. Some 123 people in the whole region were assisted in voluntary repatriation movements.
In 2016,  296 people were resettled out of the region, including 218 people who departed via separate sponsorship cases.
While ssecurity concerns continued to be the main challenges in establishment of protection-sensitive entry systems, tangible progress was made in the context of emergency preparedness for refugee influxes, especially from Afghanistan.
With relatively developed legal frameworks for asylum and progress made in the area of statelessness reduction, UNHCR pursued further regionalization of its presence and programme in 2016.


The main activities in Turkmenistan aimed at promoting review of the legislation and policy regarding access to territory and freedom of movement of refugees and asylum seekers through advocacy, technical advice and capacity building.  A series of training events for authorities were held on such topical issues as profiling and referral of refugees and asylum-seekers at the borders, eradication of statelessness and emergency preparedness.  In December 2016, the Government of Turkmenistan naturalized 1,380 stateless people.
As a result of a thorough verification of the refugee population in Uzbekistan, 35 cases (75 people) are being closed or inactivated for having met a reasonable solution or stay arrangement. Additionally, 179 people in the country were granted citizenship towards the end of the year as part of state-led procedures, which is an unprecedented development.

69 Number of personnel (international and national)
5 Number of offices
63,667 Estimated number of people of concern (PoC)
14.7 Mio Overall funding requirements (ExCom-approved 2016 budget)

Operational Environment and Strategy

In the last 25 years, Central Asia has experienced considerable population movements within and outside the region, prompted by a civil war and various inter-ethnic conflicts which cumulatively led to the displacement of nearly 1 million people. These forced displacement patterns were resolved with the help of the international community.
Today, there are some 3,000 refugees in Central Asia who require the assistance of governments in the region and the international community to find solutions. In addition, Central Asia is home to a considerable stateless population. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 stateless people, individuals at risk of statelessness, or people of undetermined nationality in Central Asia.
The subregion remains susceptible to sudden, large-scale displacement due to natural disasters and inter-ethnic conflict. The latter is especially prevalent in the Fergana Valley where Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet.
Governments of the region continue to collaborate with UNHCR and others, but are concerned by the situation in Afghanistan and the rising influence of extremism in economically weak rural areas.  UNHCR continues to support the governments to ensure access to effective procedures for all asylum-seekers.

Response and Implementation

In 2016, UNHCR will focus on advocacy, capacity building, the continued development of legal frameworks, as well as the gradual inclusion of protection and social needs of all populations of concern in national systems. The Office will continue its work with other international actors, including development agencies, to mainstream refugee and statelessness issues into their programmes and collaborate with UN agencies (particularly UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA) on asylum-seeker registration, birth registration, training of border guards and promoting livelihoods.
Kazakhstan hosts approximately 660 refugees and 170 asylum-seekers, as well as almost 7,040 people at risk of statelessness. UNHCR will support the Government to establish a mechanism for the referral of asylum-seekers by border guards to State authorities. The Office will continue to advocate for legislative amendments to allow refugees full enjoyment of their basic rights. UNHCR will also continue to advocate for legislative changes to prevent new cases of statelessness, while working on reducing the existing stateless population.
In Kyrgyzstan, UNHCR will work to achieve protection and durable solutions for all people of concern through further building the capacity of State legislative and judicial bodies, border officials and Government status determination actors. Strengthening asylum systems and further improvement of State protection policies will be emphasized. Targeted local integration possibilities will be sought for refugees. A significant reduction in statelessness is expected in 2016, through the efforts of a national working group on statelessness led by the Government, which is also undertaking registration and providing documentation. Support will continue for accession to the statelessness conventions.
In Tajikistan, UNHCR will capitalize on strengthened partnership with the Government to promote refugees’ access to livelihoods and self-reliance, with the aim of finding solutions through local integration and voluntary repatriation. UNHCR will also support efforts to strengthen the national asylum procedure and establish border management safeguards, with a focus on the Tajik-Afghan border. Confirmation of citizenship for over 12,000 stateless people identified in 2014-2015 will be prioritized, following the passage of the Constitutional Law on Nationality in 2015. 
In Turkmenistan, UNHCR will focus on amending the asylum legislation and strengthening protection-sensitive screening procedures, State referral mechanisms and reception facilities. Resources will also be allocated to enhance the capacity of the Government in refugee protection. UNHCR will prioritize activities to reduce statelessness and work with the Government to resolve the legal status of some 7,000 people without citizenship.
In Uzbekistan, refugees will continue to benefit from a joint UNHCR and UNDP project for provision of assistance to vulnerable individuals. In addition, UNHCR will continue to assess individual cases in order to identify durable solutions for the residual refugee caseload. 

2016 Budget and Expenditure in Central Asia | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Kazakhstan Regional Office Budget
Kyrgyzstan Budget
Tajikistan Budget
Turkmenistan Budget
Total Budget

2016 Voluntary Contributions to Central Asia | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Central Asia overall
United States of America 02,800,000 2,800,000
Central Asia overall subtotal 02,800,000 2,800,000
Kazakhstan Regional Office
Kazakhstan 0114,916 114,916
UNDP 72,2700 72,270
Kazakhstan Regional Office subtotal 72,270114,916 187,186
Kyrgyzstan 071,154 71,154
Kyrgyzstan subtotal 071,154 71,154
Turkmenistan 047,045 47,045
Turkmenistan subtotal 047,045 47,045
Total 72,2703,033,115 3,105,385