A women stands at a podium and speaks to an audience seated at tables in front of her.
Photo credit: Zhanygul Sulaimanova/JSI

On September 25, 2023, USAID Advancing Nutrition celebrated four years of implementation in the Kyrgyz Republic. Representatives from the government of Kyrgyzstan, public health organizations, and local and international partners attended the end-of-project event to share and discuss project outcomes and insights

From 2019 to 2023, project activities focused on improving the nutritional status of women of reproductive age and children under five, particularly during the critical 1,000-day "window of opportunity," from conception to a child's second birthday. In partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Health, the project operated in Batken, Jalal-Abad, and Issyk-Kul Oblasts, and Bishkek city.

Among its achievements, the project—

  • increased exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months by 22%, while decreasing consumption of sugary or processed foods in children aged 0–5 months by 9% and in children aged 6–23 months by 12%
  • improved health workers’ infant and young children feeding (IYCF) nutrition counseling skills in Batken and Jalal-Abad Oblasts by 25%, and counseling skills for addressing anemia by 20%      
  • trained approximately 5,000 community activists on nutrition, anemia, hygiene, and responsive care and early learning (RCEL), benefiting over 42,000 households and reaching approximately 24,000 children under two in Batken, Jalal-Abad, and Issyk-Kul
  • trained 2,900 health workers on IYCF, anemia, RCEL, and the Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative, to ensure mothers and newborns receive timely, appropriate care and establish optimal feeding practices
  • conducted 350 training programs for healthcare workers, who then provided 131,000 consultations on IYCF, anemia, and RCEL, impacting over 35,000 children under two and 19,900 pregnant women.

Arykbayeva Bubuzhan Kamchybekovna, the Kyrgyz Republic deputy minister of health, acknowledged, “USAID's Advancing Nutrition project provided significant technical assistance to the Ministry of Health during these years. It created an environment for improving the quality of health services and successfully achieved the goal of improving the nutrition and health of children and women in the country.”

Nisha Gupta, USAID Kyrgyz Republic director of health and education, remarked, “The Advancing Nutrition project shifted the nutrition paradigm within the communities it engaged, using evidence-based concepts to ensure the Kyrgyz population is well nourished and resilient.”

Event attendees included Kyrgyz Republic parliament members, presidential representatives, leaders of national government departments, and USAID representatives. In total, 80 attendees, including local partners and stakeholders, gathered to share and commemorate the project’s achievements. The event concluded with an acknowledgment of the contributions made by project partners, medical workers, and volunteer activists, who were presented with letters of appreciation.