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.

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Asia

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2015 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[22.88429304,18.10424758,16.60239248,14.66960535,14.67845337,8.95320574],"expenditure":[10.88408856,9.50114653,9.91686891,9.66512855,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[12.50670353,10.69836272,10.12037679,9.01942936,9.8489543,6.55655577],"p2":[2.87240321,3.36044574,4.0248484,3.9926304,4.82949907,2.39664997],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[7.5051863,4.04543912,2.45716729,1.65754559,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[5.69367151,6.13063122,5.58755005,5.26348795,null,null],"p2":[1.66234494,2.0418551,2.89679687,3.13810874,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[3.52807211,1.32866021,1.43252199,1.26353186,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2017 [projected]

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Operational Environment and Strategy

No major political or security changes are expected in 2017, but the socio-economic context may deteriorate. Throughout the region security concerns and political interests prevail over humanitarian considerations to the detriment of people of concern to UNHCR. Regional governments are especially concerned over the situation in Afghanistan and the rising influence of extremism in traditionally underdeveloped and economically weak rural areas. The region also has high potential for sudden, large-scale displacement due to its vulnerability to natural disasters, and from inter-ethnic conflict. 

The latter is the result of a combination of poorly demarcated borders, and variances in the distribution of limited resources between and within States. This risk is especially prevalent in the Fergana Valley where Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan meet in an intricate weave of enclaves and exclaves. 

Central Asia is home to a considerable number of stateless people. Notable legislative achievements and measures for improved identification have led to some reduction in the numbers of stateless people. In four of five countries, some 11,000 people acquired or have had their citizenship confirmed in two years.  As of September 2016, 128,834 out of 130,000 people in the region are reported to be under UNHCR’s Statelessness mandate. Resolving statelessness effectively will require continued, concerted advocacy, support for States and additional resources. 

UNHCR in Central Asia has a sub-regional multiyear strategy with three objectives: 
1)    Improving national asylum systems (including preparedness and contingency plans); 
2)    Achieving solutions for refugees, with an emphasis on local integration; 
3)    Reduction and prevention of statelessness. 

Other regional priorities include access to territory through the establishment of referral mechanisms/border monitoring, including through the Almaty Process on Refugee Protection and International Migration, assistance to people with special needs, multi-purpose cash grants for vulnerable people through harmonized criteria. 

Emergency preparedness will remain an important activity, engagement continuing with relevant authorities and partners in preparedness and planning for the influx of refugees from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Similarly, contingency planning for an outflow of refugees into Kyrgyzstan and for the movement of internally displaced people (IDPs) has been a key strategic pillar in Kyrgyzstan with the engagement of the Country Team and relevant authorities. 

Refugees in Central Asia reside in urban locations. They are relatively well integrated into host communities. Based on the outcomes of the 2016 comprehensive profiling of people of concern country offices continue to focus on strong advocacy for tailor-made solutions, with a focus on greater socio-economic integration and towards lawful stay with the acquisition of permanent residence permits. 
In September 2016 there are some 3,570 refugees in Central Asia requiring assistance from governments and the international community. 2017 will likely see an increase in refugees and asylum-seekers due to the possible increase in the latter from Tajikistan. The number of stateless people is expected to reduce by 20,000 by the end of 2017 as priority will be given to the resolution of statelessness situations for people identified between 2014 and 2016. 

The operational review undertaken in 2015 resulted in further rationalisation of the UNHCR operation in Central Asia, including reductions in posts in the Regional Office in Almaty, nationalization of the Representation in Kyrgyzstan by the end of 2016, and the closure of the office in Turkmenistan in June 2016.

Response and Implementation

Operations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are presented in separate country pages.

Since UNHCR no longer has staff based in Turkmenistan as of June 2016, the operation has been managed from the Regional Office in Almaty. In 2017, the main focus will be on advocacy for the amendment of refugee legislation, adoption by the State of referral mechanisms for any asylum-seekers at the border, and enhancement of the capacity of Government officials to comply with internationally accepted norms of refugee protection. Advocacy as well as technical advice and support for the continued reduction of statelessness, and resolution on the legal status of some 7,100 people without citizenship will similarly be priorities.

In Uzbekistan, 27 refugees will continue benefitting from UNHCR protection. A joint project by UNHCR and UNDP will focus on provision of assistance to 13 vulnerable individuals.

Along with Kyrgyzstan, the Regional Office will have an increased and more direct role in these countries.

2017 Budget for Central Asia | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Kazakhstan Regional Office 4,258,9211,308,364005,567,284
Kyrgyzstan 720,232317,957001,038,189
Tajikistan 1,577,403770,329002,347,732
Total 6,556,5562,396,650008,953,206

2017 Voluntary Contributions to Central Asia | USD

Earmarking / Donor All
Central Asia overall
United States of America 800,000 800,000
Central Asia overall subtotal 800,000 800,000
Kazakhstan Regional Office
Kazakhstan 50,000 50,000
Kazakhstan Regional Office subtotal 50,000 50,000
Total 850,000 850,000