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


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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Asia

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2019 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[14.678453370000001,8.95320574,8.615998900000001,8.676147309000001,6.6240453399999994,6.74169434],"expenditure":[6.90699052,5.48594254,5.320124440000001,5.15619506,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[9.8489543,6.51823425,6.52988892,6.193296749,4.9112271100000005,4.5582571100000004],"p2":[4.829499070000001,2.43497149,2.08610998,2.48285056,1.7128182299999999,2.18343723],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[4.07905485,3.56376437,3.7180937000000003,3.3711035099999997,null,null],"p2":[2.82793567,1.92217817,1.60203074,1.78509155,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2021 [projected]

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Operational environment

As of July 2020, UNHCR was aware of some 6,102 refugees (including 392 recognized under the Office’s mandate) and more than 1,140 asylum-seekers being hosted by five countries in Central Asia. 

While some 110,700 stateless persons were known to UNHCR in the sub-region, the actual number is expected to be higher. The number of people identified with undetermined nationality increases each year, largely as a result of ongoing statelessness outreach initiatives conducted by UNHCR and partners. 

In 2021, UNHCR expects the resolution of a record number of cases of statelessness in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, largely as a result of the implementation of the new citizenship law in Uzbekistan (where up to 50,000 persons are expected to be granted citizenship) and confirmation of citizenship and presidential decrees granting citizenship in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. 

The operational environment in Central Asia is expected to remain unchanged in 2021. Internal policies of the Central Asian countries will continue to focus on socioeconomic development, improving the investment in the area of climate change and limiting immigration. Relations with the neighbouring countries will continue to influence the geopolitical context in the sub-region. Considering the proximity with Afghanistan and concerns over the spread of terrorism, national security imperatives will dominate internal and foreign policies.  
The COVID-19 pandemic and related border closures have affected refugee protection and access to asylum in all Central Asian countries. The pandemic is expected to continue to some extent in 2021. 

Strategy: Response and implementation

UNHCR’s Strategic Orientations in 2019-2021 for Central Asia focus on three priorities:
  • The eradication of statelessness;
  • Supporting the establishment of sustainable and quality asylum systems; and
  • Collaboration on emergency preparedness. 
On asylum and refugee issues, UNHCR’s key strategic partnerships will remain with the state institutions and more specifically with the ministries of interior, migration services, justice, and border services. In partnership with IOM, UNHCR will continue its support to the Almaty Process (sub-regional intergovernmental consultative platform on asylum and mixed migration) to foster improvement and harmonization of the asylum systems, statistics and data-sharing and establishment of referral mechanisms.

UNHCR’s prioritized activities in 2021 will focus on advocating:
  • A more durable status for convention refugees;
  • Legal status for mandate refugees; and
  • Mainstreaming refugees into national social protection and health care schemes in order to enhance their self-reliance and reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance. 
Mainstreaming refugee and stateless populations into national development programmes and improving their access to social and economic rights will be the aim of the UNHCR’s partnerships with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, as well as the UNCT under the Sustainable Development Goals and UNSDCF platform.

UNHCR expects that governments in the sub-region will continue their proactive efforts to reduce and prevent statelessness as part of the global #iBelong campaign to end statelessness. Turkmenistan’s 2019-2024 national action plan may accelerate the country’s efforts to reduce the number of stateless persons. In Uzbekistan, country-wide population documentation, birth registration, and civil registry reforms may create solutions for many and contribute to the prevention of statelessness; UNHCR also anticipates that the process will allow for the identification of more stateless persons in the country. Supporting legislative reform continues to be a major focus of UNHCR’s activities in order to ensure that due safeguards are in place in the national legislations to prevent statelessness.

In 2021, the five Central Asian countries will mark their 30th independence anniversaries. UNHCR will seek to build on these commemorations to work towards greater government ownership of efforts to ensure statelessness eradication, as well as protection, integration and self-reliance of refugees.

2021 Budget for Central Asia | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Kazakhstan Multi-Country Office 2,283,7271,231,765003,515,492
Kyrgyzstan 712,081124,91900837,000
Tajikistan 1,562,449826,753002,389,202
Total 4,558,2572,183,437006,741,694

2021 Voluntary Contributions to Central Asia | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Central Asia overall
United States of America 0200,000 200,000
Central Asia overall subtotal 0200,000 200,000
United States of America 63,9000 63,900
Tajikistan subtotal 63,9000 63,900
Total 63,900200,000 263,900
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