The Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country located in north-eastern Central Asia between two major
mountain systems, the Tien Shan and the Pamirs. Spanning a total landmass of 187.5 thousand square
kilometers (km2), it runs from 39° and 44°N latitude and 69° and 81°E longitude. The Kyrgyz Republic is
bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south-west, and China to
the east. Approximately 94% of the country is located at more than 1,000 meters (m) above sea level,
and 40% is above 3,000 m. Over 80% of the country is within
the Tian Shan mountain chain and 4% is permanently under
ice and snow.
Of a total population of 5,321,355 in Kyrgyz Republic, the
majority live in the foothills of the mountains, where they are
most vulnerable to climate hazards. Forty-three percent of
the population lives below the poverty line and 50% are rural
dwellers. Average Gross National Income (GNI), a measure of
relative wealth, is US $870 per capita. Agriculture is by far the
most important livelihood activity, contributing to one-third of GDP and employing 65% of the
population. Industrial processing, the second most productive sector in Kyrgyz Republic, also highly
depends on the agricultural sector for provision of raw goods.
Over half of Kyrgyz Republic’s GDP is derived from climate and weather-sensitive activities. Drought is a
common occurrence in the country as are land and mudslides, avalanches, squalls, downpours, icing,
frosts, breakthrough of glacial lakes, floods, rise of sub-soil waters, epidemics, pests, crop diseases,
river erosion, and earthquakes. Notably, Kyrgyz Republic experiences between 3,000 and 5,000
earthquakes every year, with large-scale catastrophes taking place every 5-10 years. On average,
destruction and loss from natural disasters totals up to US $30-35 million per year.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities