The limited economic opportunities in the Kyrgyz Republic contribute to a phenomenon of mass labor migration: approximately one million people, out of a total population of seven million, work abroad. The money labor migrants send back home to support their families amounts to one-third of the country’s GDP - one of the highest rates in the world. Parents are often forced to leave their children behind when crossing borders for work, which often causes additional problems at the community level where many citizens of working age are absent and children are sometimes left with distant caregivers (such as aging grandparents, aunts, and uncles) with competing responsibilities.
USAID supports job creation and economic growth in the Kyrgyz Republic with a focus on the poorest regions, which contributes to keeping families together and help them build better lives.
In partnership with civil society and the private sector, USAID supports the Government’s commitment to accelerate an inclusive and pro-poor economic growth, especially in marginalized and rural areas. We support the improvement of the overall business environment by working together with the Government to promote trade and investment, particularly from European and American companies, while facilitating Kyrgyzstan’s access to domestic and foreign markets.
USAID programs are also designed to lift the prospects of workers in the most promising economic sectors. For example, in the apparel sector, we support businesses to expand their sales and begin exporting abroad. In tourism, we elevate the country’s profile as an emerging travel destination. This is resulting in more visitors and better business opportunities for local companies. In 2019, this contributed to Kyrgyzstan being named in the top ten destinations to visit in the world in 2019 by Lonely Planet.