The Kyrgyz Republic is a small, landlocked, mountainous country and the second poorest in Central Asia, with almost 40 percent of the population living below the poverty line. The nation is recovering from a deep political and economic crisis following the ousting of its president in 2010 and subsequent civil disturbances.
Despite the country’s democratic progress, impediments to development remain, including widespread corruption, low foreign investment and high unemployment. Nearly one-third of the Kyrgyz Republic’s workforce is employed abroad, reducing the available pool of qualified labor in-country. The implementation of democratic reforms remains a challenge, and limited energy resources and low agricultural productivity constrain economic growth.
In partnership with national and local governments, civil society, and the private sector, USAID assistance strengthens the only parliamentary system in the region, improves communication between the government and the people, fosters greater economic prosperity, improves the quality of health care and education, and incorporates participation of marginalized communities in the political process and private sector development.
DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERNANCE
USAID supports the consolidation and development of the country’s parliamentary democracy through technical assistance to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of a range of government institutions, including the Parliament itself and key ministries. USAID helps instill the rule of law and respect for human rights through support to the judiciary, defense lawyers and activists monitoring and advocating for human rights. USAID assists civil society in serving as a more effective partner with government and the private sector — particularly as a source of advocacy, public policy input and basic public service delivery. Recognizing that 50 percent of the population is under the age of 25, USAID invests in future generations through life skills training and civic education.
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRADE
USAID supports governmental and private sector initiatives in establishing an enabling environment conducive to busi-ness, advancing workforce development in key sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, and strengthening the country’s food production. USAID also encourages economic policy reforms that promote trade, improve the business operating environment, attract investment and create jobs. While USAID primarily focuses development assistance at the national level, a significant emphasis is also placed on the southern regions of the country, which are home to the highest rates of poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity. In addition, USAID advises the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on improved management of the country’s electrical power.
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 2012 – 2020 Education Development Strategy by working with 7,500 teachers — who collectively reach 60 percent of the Kyrgyz Republic’s primary grade student population — to improve student reading levels in the country.
USAID partners with the Ministry of Health to improve access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and to prevent the spread of these infectious diseases. These efforts include providing support and outreach to high-risk populations, improving the quality of HIV/AIDS care, and working closely with the civil society groups that serve people at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS. Tuberculosis activities include training for laboratories and health care providers, assistance in improving infection prevention, support for new diagnostic technologies, and improving the clinical regulations that guide care.
USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Quarterly Newsletters
Last updated: February 20, 2015