International support to modernize water sector in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, July 21, 2009 -- The Swiss Government and the EBRD are providing €11.8 million to improve the supply of water to some 1 million people living in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic...

Jul 21st, 2009

• €11.8 million to upgrade infrastructure of Bishkek Water Company

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, July 21, 2009 -- The Swiss Government and the EBRD are providing €11.8 million to improve the supply of water to some 1 million people living in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The financial assistance offered to the Bishkek Water Company will support improvements to the city's 30-year-old water network. Current supplies are often interrupted by the need for frequent and costly repairs.

The project, which will be implemented by the municipal water supply enterprise Bishkekvodokanal, is financed by a non-reimbursable grant of €5.7 million from the Swiss Government, and a €5.5 million sovereign loan from the EBRD. Additional €600,000 in grant funds from the EBRD Early Transition Countries Technical Co-operation Fund* will support the project through technical assistance.

The funds will be used to replace the most impaired sections of the water mains and distribution network, install new water purification equipment, upgrade the pumping equipment, install new water meters, as well as to purchase vehicles for emergency repairs and regular maintenance.

"Switzerland is pleased to be associated in this important project for the benefit of continued public service security and expansion to new settlement area," said Hanspeter Maag, the Country Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic during a signing ceremony.

"This is the first EBRD project in the municipal sector in the Kyrgyz Republic. It will significantly improve the water supply in the Kyrgyz capital and will support the Bishkek Water Company's development into a commercially efficient company" said Kenji Nakazawa, EBRD's representative in Kyrgyzstan.

Over the last 15 years Switzerland through the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic provided more than $175 million to Kyrgyzstan in such areas as health care reform, water management and disaster risk reduction, basic infrastructure, private sector development, public institutions and services.

Since the beginning of its operations in the Kyrgyz Republic, the EBRD has invested over €175 million in more than 50 projects in the infrastructure, corporate, energy and financial sectors. The EBRD funds attracted additional investments worth over €100 million.

*The EBRD Early Transition Countries Fund for Technical Cooperation funds projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and is the EBRD's main vehicle for channeling donor funding to these countries.

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