The UN and its humanitarian partners Dec. 1 launched a USD 20 million appeal to guarantee back-up power supplies in Kyrgyzstan for crucial facilities such as medical centers and to help 800,000 vulnerable citizens as part of efforts to address significant energy shortages at the start of the Central Asian nation’s tough winter season. But low water levels in the Toktogul hydroelectric dam are threatening power supplies, with a cold snap earlier this year causing a surge in electricity demand. The funds will be used to ensure that almost 350 health-care centers have back-up power. (UN News Service)

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