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 low levels of foreign investment, high unemployment, numerous regional challenges, and the struggle against corruption. Nearly one-third of the 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 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.
More than 100 field hearings, policy seminars and other public events supported by USAID have fostered communication between citizens and members of parliament.
To improve food security, USAID has distributed high quality seeds to 40,000 farmers since 2011.
Since 2002, access to college admission and merit-based government scholarships — earned by nearly 65,000 students — is determined by scores on a standardized test created with USAID support.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
USAID supports the consolidation and development of the Kyrgyz Republic’s parliamentary democracy through assistance that improves the effectiveness and responsiveness of a range of governance institutions, including the Parliament, key ministries and local governments. USAID helps instill the rule of law and respect for human rights by supporting the judiciary, defense lawyers and activists that monitor and advocate for human rights. USAID assists civil society to more effectively 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 civic education, counter-trafficking and political participation efforts.
Economic Growth and Trade
In order for the Kyrgyz Republic to become more prosperous and demonstrate the efficacy of its system of democratic governance, it must accelerate economic growth, diversify its economy and ensure that economic opportunities exist for all citizens. USAID development assistance programs are national in scope, primarily focusing on regions that experience the highest rates of poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity. USAID increases prosperity by partnering with the public and private sectors to establish sound economic policies, build food security through targeted agricultural assistance, and promote energy sector reform to meet growing demand. USAID also encourages economic policy reforms that promote trade, attract investment and create jobs.
Health and Education
USAID partners with the Ministry of Health to improve access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and to prevent the spread of these infectious diseases. HIV/AIDS efforts include providing support and outreach to high-risk populations, improving the quality of care, and working closely with the civil society groups that serve people at risk for and living with the disease. TB activities include training for labs and health care providers, assistance in improving infection prevention, support for new diagnostic technologies, and improving the clinical regulations that guide care.
USAID works closely with the 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. According to USAID’s 2014 national study, only 10 percent of Grades 1 and 2 students and 1 percent in Grade 4 meet the country’s National Basic Reading Requirements.
Kyrgyzstan Country Profile [PDF]
USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Quarterly Newsletters
Last updated: December 14, 2015