USAID Helps Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. On March 19, 2015 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching its new SPRING Project, aimed at improving maternal and child nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic. The launch brings representatives of the Ministry of Health together with national health organizations, the Ministries of Education and Agriculture, oblasts and local government representatives, non-governmental and international organizations. The event is from 9am – 1pm at the Golden Tulip Hotel, 37 Isanova Street in Bishkek.

SPRING is a five-year project aimed at reducing malnutrition, preventing stunting, and reducing anemia in women and children. SPRING will support the Kyrgyz Republic, helping to implement internationally recommended nutrition practices and policies. The SPRING project will encourage better nutrition-related behavior, enhance diet quality and diversity, and support evidence-based nutrition policy.

Women and children in the Kyrgyz Republic unduly suffer from chronic malnutrition and anemia. According to the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) of 2012, about one in five children under five are stunted (too short for their age). Stunting is a condition caused by chronic malnutrition, which is irreversible by 2 years of age and has long term impacts on the health and cognitive development of children as they grow up. Among women of reproductive age, 35% suffer from anemia, as do 43% of children aged 6 to 59 months. Anemia weakens the body and is associated with poor health outcomes, and puts mothers at risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery. Poor nutrition outcomes are associated with inadequate awareness and nutrition services, low levels of exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of a baby’s life and appropriate complementary feeding from 6 to 23 months. The SPRING project will work in ten jurisdictions in the Jalal-Abad and the Naryn Oblasts. to fill in these gaps, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and other development partners.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, SPRING is implemented by Save the Children. To learn more about this project, visit

Interested journalists are invited to cover the opening event. For additional information, please contact Nazgul Abazbekova, Technical Coordinator by phone (+996 558) 355381 or e-mail