The Kyrgyz Republic is a small, landlocked, mountainous country in Central Asia with a population of just over 5.5 million people. It is the second-poorest country in Central Asia, with one-third of the population living below the poverty line. Following the ousting of its president in 2010 and subsequent civil disturbances, the Kyrgyz Republic is recovering from a deep political and economic crisis.
Despite the country’s democratic progress, impediments to development remain, including widespread corruption, low foreign investment and a high unemployment rate. Approximately one-third of the Kyrgyz Republic’s workforce is employed abroad, reducing the available pool of qualified labor. The implementation of democratic reforms remains a challenge, and limited energy resources and low agricultural productivity contribute to insufficient economic growth.
In partnership with national and local governments, civil society and the private sector, USAID assistance is helping the country strengthen the only parliamentary system in the region, improve communication between the government and the people, foster greater economic prosperity, improve the quality of health care and education, and incorporate participation of marginalized communities in the political process and private sector development. USAID also promotes the development of public-private alliances to encourage more effective problem solving and greater leveraging of resources.
DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERNANCE
USAID is capitalizing on the Kyrgyz Republic’s democratic developments by providing expert advice and training to the country’s new parliament with the goal of making the parliament an effective, democratic institution. USAID builds civil society organizations that enhance the public’s ability to provide input to national institutions and demand results from their government. Recognizing that 50 percent of the population is under the age of 25, USAID is focusing on building the life skills, entrepreneurial ability and civic commitment of the country’s young people.
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRADE
USAID stimulates diversified and sustainable economic growth across the country through support to 54 competitively selected partner municipalities, which receive assistance to improve local governments’ capacity to provide citizen services and promote economic growth at the local level. To reduce the impact of rising food prices and low agricultural productivity, USAID encourages public-private partnerships and introduces modern technologies to expand food yields, resulting in increased incomes. In 2012 alone, USAID helped more than 11,000 farmers increase productivity by providing them with seed, fertilizer and other yield-enhancing resources. Additionally, a seed investment project with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture raised yields from participating seed farms high above national averages, demonstrating a three-fold increase over USAID’s investment.
SOCIAL SECTOR SUPPORT
USAID works closely with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Education, local counterparts and other donors to expand and improve access to quality basic and higher education. USAID supports the Kyrgyz Republic's Education Development Strategy for 2012-2020 by working with 7,500 teachers, who teach 60 percent of the Kyrgyz Republic's primary grade student population, to improve primary school students’ reading levels in the country.
USAID’s programs in the health sector work to improve the national government’s ability to increase access to high-quality health care services for mothers and children and to prevent and treat infectious diseases such as HIV, polio and tuberculosis. USAID helped the country design its health reform plans and is promoting a continued dialogue on needed health finance reforms. With USAID’s assistance, the country adopted a single-payer system and created an institute of family medicine that supports more than 700 health centers across the country staffed with USAID-trained specialists.
Last updated: November 14, 2014