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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

II. Country Assessments and Performance Measures - Kyrgyz Republic


U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
January 2007
Report
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Country Overview

Country Facts
  • Map of Kyrgyz RepublicArea: 76,641 sq mi (198,500 sq km), slightly smaller than South Dakota
  • Population: 5,213,898 (July 2006 est.) 
  • Population Growth Rate: 1.32% (2006 est.) 
  • Life Expectancy: Male 64.48 yrs., Female 72.70 yrs. (2006 est.) 
  • Infant Mortality: 34.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.) 
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $10.65 billion (purchasing power parity, 2005 est.) 
  • GDP Per Capita Income: $2,100 (purchasing power parity, 2005 est.)
  • Real GDP Growth: 2% (2005 est.)

Overview of U.S. Government Assistance

In FY 2006, the USG provided an estimated $43.54 million in assistance to Kyrgyz Republic, including:

  • $10.79 million in democratic reform programs; 
  • $10.89 million in economic reform programs; 
  • $0.75 million in humanitarian programs; 
  • $12.57 million in security, regional stability, and law enforcement programs; 
  • $7.05 million in social reform programs; 
  • $1.48 million in cross-sector and other programs; and 
  • Privately donated and USG excess humanitarian commodities valued at $15.67 million.

FY 2006 Assistance Overview

U.S. STRATEGIC INTERESTS & FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES

The U.S. Government's (USG) strategic goals in the Kyrgyz Republic are to counter terrorism, support regional stability, develop a democratic, market-based economy, and combat narcotics and other trafficking. The Kyrgyz Republic remains a strong supporter of the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz Republic also serves as an important example of democratic change and demonstrates the benefits of a vibrant civil society to its more authoritarian neighbors. Nevertheless, threats of religious extremism, ethnic rivalries, a new regime struggling for legitimacy, drug trafficking, and weak governance create particular challenges for U.S. foreign policy. The extreme poverty of the population contributes to the potential for regional instability, enhances the appeal of Islamic militants and facilitates the trafficking of narcotics across the country's rugged borders. The priority for U.S. assistance is to help create conditions for a secure, democratic government which enables sufficient economic growth and provides adequate social protection to avert the threat of extremism and drug trafficking.

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The U.S. Government (USG) has addressed priorities areas in the Kyrgyz Republic through a variety of assistance programs, including a focus on peace and security with programs on border controls, counter-narcotics, and law enforcement reform. Assistance to promote democracy and governance includes programs in the areas of elections process, decentralization, civil society, political party training, constitutional reform, media independence, parliamentary strengthening, and programs on religion, state, and society; youth; gender; and corruption. In the area of economic growth, assistance continues to focus on the business environment and investment climate, regional trade, agriculture and credit for small and micro businesses. USG Assistance also includes programs to strengthen basic education, promote health reform, and better control infectious diseases. Another priority is linking Kyrgyz hydro-energy resources to the energy-deficient markets in Pakistan and Afghanistan, using a planned north/south transmission link.

OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

Just prior to FY 2006, a new cabinet was approved and President Bakiev was appointed to lead the development of a new constitution. Debates over constitutional reform continue, along with uncertainty and turnover in senior government positions which often made it difficult to ascertain who was in control of key policy issues. Other issues were prominent in the bilateral agenda, including negotiations for renewal of the agreement concerning the Manas Airbase, Kyrgyz participation in the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC), eligibility for the Millennium Challenge Threshold program, a possible new tax code and a long-term Country Development Strategy. In the summer of 2006 relations with the USG were complicated by the expulsion of two embassy employees. Relations improved with the signing of a definitive base agreement, but the Kyrgyzstani government continues to question U.S. assistance promoting democracy, out of fear that it may become the victim of another "colored revolution." The overall working environment continues to present significant challenges in this and other respects. The economy and foreign investment continue to grow, however, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is increasingly concerned about unrestrained growth of the money supply and the government's depth of commitment to necessary reforms, especially in the energy sector. The education sector remains very weak, but significant other donor resources are now programmed.

COUNTRY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Kyrgyz Democratic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Kyrgyz Republic's democratic performance during FY 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark lines indicate how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and, (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://inside.usaid.gov/EE/po/mcp.html.

Graph shows Kyrgyz Democratic Reform:  Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, corruption, 1.7; electoral process, 1.7; civil society, 2.7; independent media, 1.8; governance/public admin, 1.8; rule of law, 2.0

The graph above shows Kyrgyz Republic's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's democratic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and receive favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Graph shows Kyrgyz Democratic Reform:  1999, corruption, 1.7; electoral process, 1.7; civil society, 2.7; independent media, 1.8; governance/public admin, 1.8; rule of law, 2.0

The graph above shows Kyrgyz Republic's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its democratic reform scores in 1999 (the bold line).

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Kyrgyz Economic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Albania's economic performance during 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark line indicates how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://inside.usaid.gov/EE/po/mcp.html.

Graph shows Kyrgyz Economic Reform: Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, external debt percent GDP, 0.5; private sector share, 4.5; share of employment in SMEs, 4.0; export share of GDP, 2.0; FDI pc cumulative, 1.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 2.5; 3yr avg inflation, 4.5

The graph above shows Kyrgyz Republic's economic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's economic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Graph shows Kyrgyz Economic Reform: 1999, external debt percent GDP, 0.5; private sector share, 4.5; export share of GDP, 2.0; FDI pc cumulative, 1.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 2.5; 3yr avg inflation, 4.5

The graph above shows Kyrgyz Republic's economic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its economic reform scores in 1999 (the bold line).

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

FY 2006 Country Program Performance

Governing Justly and Democratically

The situation in the Kyrgyz Republic is one in which a new administration is struggling to prove its capabilities and legitimacy to a population which expected, but did not see, major changes following the "Tulip Revolution" of March 2005. The new administration was plagued by a series of challenges, including in-fighting within the administration and with parliament and continued corruption. Initial promises for constitutional reform to rebalance powers so as to lessen presidential power were delayed by a change in heart by the presidential administration, but this situation appears to have been resolved somewhat by concessions made in November of 2006. Promises for media reform were similarly frustrated by failure to establish a truly independent, national public television station. Political parties and parliamentary capabilities remain weak. The new administration is also increasingly suspicious of civil society influence, fearing a repeat of the 2005 revolution. Finally, pressure for true decentralization of fiscal authority for local government continued to be resisted by an administration accustomed to centralized authority. A consensus is forming, supported by the administration, for reform of law enforcement and judicial authorities, and this is a promising area for future governance work.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

As stated above, USG priorities in FY 2006 were to promote just governance in the areas of elections process, decentralization, civil society, constitutional reform, parliamentary strengthening, and cross-cutting programs on religion, state, and society, youth, gender, and corruption. Fighting corruption, in particular, remained a key element of all assistance activities. Past efforts included promotion of greater transparency and simplification of procedures so as to lessen the areas where rent seeking behavior can take place. These anti-corruption programs had an impact on economic growth, energy, health, and education efforts as well as general democracy and governance assistance. The rebalancing of constitutional authorities and parliamentary strengthening work also were expected to contribute to better control of corruption, as parliament is empowered with stronger oversight and the judiciary made more independent. Civil society and media strengthening also contributed to more transparency and to more responsive governance.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

USG assistance programs were designed to: strengthen civil society, independent media, and political parties; promote the protection of human rights; strengthen local governance and the parliament; improve the administration of elections; and advance legal reforms. Civil society programs focused on improving the legal and regulatory framework for non-governmental organization (NGO) operations, strengthening the institutional capacity of NGOs, providing grants to build NGO capacity, and developing practical skills to advocate policy positions and member-driven priorities across a wide range of sectors. In addition, USG assistance supported a program to develop a civic education textbook for secondary schools. To strengthen independent media, programs included technical analyses and input on the overall policy framework, legal advice to journalists and media outlets in on how to comply with changing regulations, training for print and broadcast journalists and financial support for the production of informational programming. Political party programs were designed to develop constituency outreach and membership development techniques, and strengthen internal organization. In the human rights area, programs focused on establishing a local network of human rights defenders and monitoring human rights concerns. In terms of the local governance, USG programs worked at both the national and the local levels to support increased authority, autonomy and control over local issues and resources by local governments, as well as increased local government capability to make financial decisions, and manage and account for funds, deliver municipal services and promote local economic development. In the parliament, programs provided advice on constituency outreach and information technology. To improve the framework for future elections, programs provided technical assistance on electoral reform. Legal reform activities focused on improving legal curricula and developing research, advocacy and writing skills of law students. Exchange programs supported each of these areas by enhancing understanding and appreciation of U.S. society.

OUTPUTS

In FY 2006, USG-supported programs conducted 25 training events 246 NGOs, benefiting 417 participants. USG assistance also supported 105 organizations, which conducted 39 advocacy campaigns. The USG distributed eleventh grade civic education textbook 2,000 schools and trained civic education teachers trained in interactive teaching methodologies.

The USG trained 157 media professionals (both print and electronic), conducted on-site residencies for eight broadcast media and two print media outlets, and provided 215 legal consultations to journalists and media outlet representatives. The USG also made production grants to nine private media outlets.

The USG trained more than 2,500 political party representatives in political party and campaign techniques, such as door-to-door canvassing. The USG also distributed an electronic newsletter on political party issues to more than 400 recipients.

The USG trained officials from all 500 local governments on new budget principles. The USG also trained 450 local government officials on local economic development and community participation principles.

The USG conducted trainings for members of Parliament on the role of committees in a legislative body, using the U.S. Congress as the model. The USG also conducted an assessment of the Parliament's information and communications technology. In addition, the USG conducted regular on-site technical assistance for members of Parliament on conducting town-hall meetings in their districts.

The USG brought three U.S speakers to the Kyrgyz Republic to speak about Muslims in the U.S. and Native American culture. The USG sent over 150 citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic to the U.S. on exchange programs.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

While progress in certain areas was slower than expected (especially related to the adoption and implementation of key media and constitutional reforms), USG efforts achieved notable successes over the last year in strengthening civil society capacity, institutionalizing civic education within the secondary school curricula, and preparing the government for greater fiscal decentralization.

The major U.S. civil society development program was completed during 2006, leaving behind a sustainable local association of civil society support centers. This association has already competed for and received a direct USG grant, as well as other donor funding. The Eurasia Foundation was also successful in localizing its work, registering the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia during the last year. Advocacy campaigns covered topics ranging from instructions on compliance with a new legal requirement for local governments to pay teachers' utility benefits and to discussions on bribery in a local hospital, to constitutional reforms and oversight of local government. The primary civic education program was also completed, and resulted in the inclusion of the program's civic education textbook on the list of recommended texts for grades 10 and 11. By the end of the program, every high school in the Kyrgyz Republic was using the text.

USG-funded local government programs worked closely with the key national actors and other donors (especially the World Bank) to plan for greater budget authority that will be granted to local governments in 2007. This included training for all 500 local governments on new budget principles, support for calculating equalization measures and advice on how to deal with oblast and rayon-level expenditures. In addition, five cities conducted comprehensive inventories of municipal land parcels and made maps of the parcels available to the wider public; this degree of openness about details of publicly owned land is unprecedented in Central Asia and most other former Soviet countries, including Russia. The program also led to the institution of budget hearings in almost every city cities in the Kyrgyz Republic, with 21 out of 25 cities holding hearing for the past two years. In an example of leveraging other donor funds, USG assistance supported the development of a simple computerized billing system for water and waste water utilities operating in one city, which will now to be expanded to all 24 other cities by the World Bank.

While the pace of media reform was slower than anticipated, USG assistance provided timely technical support as the Kyrgyzstani Government considered the transformation of the state TV station into a public broadcaster. This included an advocacy campaign, study tours to Finland and Estonia, the production of public service announcements, and posters and billboards describing the principles of public broadcasting. Although the President vetoed the bill creating the public TV station, this issue was part of the agenda of reforms promoted by the "For Reform" coalition in November. Constitutional reform was also slower than anticipated, with continually changing approaches. USG assistance sponsored a weekly working group on electoral reform which also became a platform to discuss various forms of government. Other activities included the production of a booklet on forms of government, training for political parties, technical analysis of three constitutional drafts, and television talk shows and public fora on constitutional reform Programs funded by the USG have had. These public outreach programs have had a great impact in furthering mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Kyrgyz Republic. USG support of independent media helped journalists increase their professional skills and helped increase the public's access to independent information.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Governing Justly and Democratically. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Independent Media Rating, from Freedom House Nations in Transit. The Freedom House rating addresses the current state of press freedom, including libel laws, harassment of journalists, editorial independence, the emergency of a financially viable private press, and Internet access for private citizens. Measurement is on a 7-point scale, with 1 being the best, 7 being the worst. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm .

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Rank

CY 2007 Target

5.75

5.75

5.75

5.75



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator remained constant from CY 2005 to CY 2006. While The Kyrgyz Republic's rating for independent media remained at 5.75, Freedom House assumed that the president's pledge to support independent media as well as improvements in the safety and political and legal freedoms of journalists could be positive indicators for the future. However, the president's veto of the law that would have transformed the state television station into a public broadcaster, continuing difficulties with the issuance of new frequencies and licenses, and lack of clarity on an announced print privatization process have contributed to a complicated environment for media operations.

Performance Indicator: NGO Sustainability Index (Source: USAID 1 = highest; 7 = lowest; data based on previous calendar year). Seven different dimensions of the NGO sector are analyzed each year in the NGO Sustainability Index: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, NGO infrastructure and public image. The NGO Sustainability Index uses a seven-point scale, to facilitate comparisons to the Freedom House indices, with 7 indicating a low or poor level of development and 1 indicating a very advanced NGO sector. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/dem_gov/ngoindex/2005/.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.1



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator did not change from CY 2004 to CY 2005. NGOs were able to operate with relative freedom and increasingly gained experience in conducting advocacy campaigns and representing citizens' interests, financial viability and establishing productive government relations remained challenges. While a small number of NGOs in urban areas have strong organizational structures and internal management, most NGOs are small and poorly staffed. USG programs provided technical assistance, training and funding to NGOs to increase their organizational capacity. Programs also supported NGO resource centers with access to computers, meeting space, information, and legal services.

Economic Growth

The Kyrgyz Republic's rate of economic growth largely recovered in FY 2006 from the uncertainty following the March 2005 revolution. Foreign investment grew and macro-IMF targets were largely met. The need for a new tax code, energy reform, and corruption at all levels of government and society continue to hinder economic growth and poison the investment climate. The exchange rate actually strengthened somewhat in 2006, but, as the money supply continued to grow as a result of the influx of foreign exchange from donor programs and remittances in particular, inflation has started to rise. Other factors include a decline in production from the Centerra Gold Mine, and uncertainty about the status of major foreign investments in this and at least one other significant gold deposit. Rents to municipal governments for rural land have almost doubled in two years, and the small and micro-credit portfolios supported by our assistance have continued to grow apace with very low default rates. Both these factors argue that official GDP may understate actual growth, perhaps implying an even larger "informal" sector.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

In the area of economic growth, the assistance priorities continue to be the business environment and investment climate, regional trade, land reform and agriculture, business skills development, and credit for small and micro businesses. The challenge remains that of persuading authorities that simplification of procedures and promoting an enhanced environment are more effective tools than government-directed growth initiatives. Another priority is to train entrepreneurs and managers in western quality standards, and to establish linkages between suppliers, producers, and markets so as to allow foster success for more effective income-generating businesses. In energy, our programs worked to promote a north/south transmission line to link the significant Kyrgyz hydro-electric generation capability (both present and future) to markets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The energy assistance also worked to integrate the Kyrgyz Republic into regional electricity markets to the north, so that the Kyrgyz can obtain a market price for their electricity instead of the ad hoc arrangements used with buyers in the past. Finally, better coordination and management of "retail" irrigation systems was a priority in the Southern part of the country, to allow stronger farm productivity.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

For FY 2006, programs promoting economic growth received a large share of U.S funding, more than programs in any other sector of assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic except social welfare. USG programs consisted of activities that improved the environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) growth and improved management of critical natural resources, including energy. These higher-level objectives are being achieved by providing technical assistance and support to local counterparts on policy reform and implementation issues to create a better macroeconomic foundation and business environment, and on the firm and farm level to make SMEs more competitive and productive.

To help achieve a sufficient macroeconomic foundation for economic growth and to improve the policy environment for SMEs, this year the USG worked with the private and public sectors of the Kyrgyz Republic in a number of program areas. These included projects to reduce constraints to trade and investment, improve tax policy and budgetary processes, and promote land reform and market development. To increase private-sector productivity, the USG assisted with firm-level business consulting, trade promotion, agribusiness and value chain development, certification of accounting practitioners, and business and economics education. USG assistance also actively supported increased availability of basic financial services to agricultural and other SMEs by strengthening microfinance institutions (MFIs), introducing new loan products at commercial banks, and improving supervision capacity of the National Bank. In the natural resources area, the USG assists the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to achieve a more sustainable energy sector and works with Water User Associations to improve their infrastructure and organizational capacity.

OUTPUTS

USG Assistance achieved significant progress in the improvement of the enabling environment for private sector growth. Several new regulations were approved that reduced the number of products which required mandatory conformity assessments from over 5,500 to just over 2,000. In addition, the land code was amended to eliminate several restrictions on farmland ownership. This year the Kyrgyz Republic was recognized as a leader in appraisal reform among the CIS countries, with the most significant landmark being the adoption of the internationally-based National Appraisal Standards. A draft Tax Code was approved by the President and submitted to the Parliament for adoption. The USG assisted the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic with the introduction of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, through the translation of the standards into Russian and development of a three-year strategy for their introduction into the public sector. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic adopted new "Rules of Procedure" requiring publication of draft regulations on a website maintained by the Ministry of Justice, public comment on drafts, and basic cost-benefit analysis.

To assist businesses that were victims of looting, the USG launched and successfully finalized the Looted Business Loan Support program, under which 179 businesses received $700,000 in grants leveraging $2.2 million in loans from 15 partner banks.

Businesses have mostly recovered from the economic stagnation that followed the political uncertainty of the 2005 revolution. This progress was evidenced by a 16% increase in sales and a 36% increase in productivity among the 153 businesses that benefited from USG-funded enterprise improvement services. Over the 12 months of FY 2006 combined sales for clients reporting financial data increased by 11%, from $16 million to $17.8 million, with 2,426 employees in the portfolio.

The USG continued facilitating credit for SMEs and farmers. One notable project was the creation of a regional MFI wholesale lender called the Frontiers Company, which achieved institutional and financial sustainability and disbursed $5.8 million through 64 loans to Central Asian MFIs, 21 of which are based in the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2006, 19,892 borrowers, mainly micro and small enterprises and farmers, received loans from the seven USG/EBRD partner banks, with an outstanding portfolio reaching $53.6 million, of which 11% were agricultural loans.

On-farm incomes have increased by approximately $1,700 per hectare as a result of the introduction of innovative technologies and new crops among 264 farmers participating in USG-supported value chain development. Nearly $500,000 was generated in sales and contracts as a result of the AgroExpo fair organized by the Association of Agri-businessmen of the Kyrgyz Republic (AAK). Agricultural sector productivity continued to improve through the promotion of better access to inputs, including the opening of seven new input retail outlets. With U.S. technical assistance, nine water user associations (33,000 beneficiaries) increased their investments in irrigation and drainage by more than fourfold.

USG assistance helped to improve the modeling tool for all water controls and demands of the Syrdarya River Basin up to the Aral Sea across all four basin countries. All users of information from the eight meteor burst platforms, installed by the USG, were able to plan water use in a timely fashion, issue warnings on avalanches and floods, forecast crop productivity and predict hydropower production for the Toktogul and other hydropower plants.

The USG provided funding for exchanges, helping key government and business leaders enhance their understanding of market economics and international business standards. The USG also provided a long-term economic policy advisor to the office of the Prime Minister, to provide policy advice in areas related to economic growth and development.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Performance this year progressed slowly, but steadily in all areas where assistance was provided, with more progress on the private versus the public sector. The country's GDP growth of 3.2% during January-September 2006 is a moderate improvement over the negative growth seen in 2005. This once again demonstrates how fragile growth remains, sensitive to both domestic and external instabilities.

Most programs achieved their goals as measured by the relevant indicators, and where goals were not fully met, it was largely attributed to the period of nationwide political uncertainty and structural change. As a result of this severe uncertainty, businesses were unwilling to invest significant resources, and government agencies were not able to concentrate on the economic reform agenda.

The Business Environment Index, which measures improvement in the business environment based on the results of an annual survey, slightly degraded from the 2005 level, from 4.18 to 4.10 on a scale from 1-10 (with 1 being worse), with mixed results on its seven benchmarks. Although fewer respondents reported being members of business associations, more respondents reported improved ability of associations to lobby on behalf of SME interests at the local and national levels, (26.4% in 2006 vs. 24.6% in 2005). USG assistance has contributed to this moderate improvement by building several successful public-private partnerships and forums. Access to training activities among respondents seeking to improve their business skills went down, which could reflect the reduced levels of training available due to the conclusion of the USG's Enterprise Development Project (EDP). Conditions of the credit market demonstrated improvement, for which USG efforts to broaden SME access to financing may take some credit. Although the attitude of government organizations to private sector, as perceived by the respondents, slightly improved, an increased number of respondents reported that they offered bribes to government officials during the last twelve months, 49.6% in 2006 vs. 50.2% in 2005.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Economic Growth. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicators: Economic Reform Index, Drawing from Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2005 as modified by, "Monitoring Country Progress in Eastern Europe and Eurasia" USAID/E&E/PO, #10 August 2006. (1-lowest, 5-highest). The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

2.96

3.08

3.08

3.40



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: While this index remained unchanged last year, USG assistance did help the GOK work to meet WTO requirements in trade and customs regime implementation. USG assistance also facilitated improved macroeconomic policy, while work with the private and public sectors continued to reduce constraints to trade and investment, improve tax policy and budgetary processes, and promote land reform and market development.

Investing in People

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the social sector continues to suffer from drastic budget cuts and a general decline in infrastructure since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Health indicators, according to a recent UNICEF survey, have remained basically steady over this time frame, which we attribute to a number of factors including adoption of the most progressive health reforms in the entire former Soviet Union, the successful establishment, with USG support, of a network of family medical clinics, increasing use of evidence based medicine and reform in health protocols. Salaries and budgets, however, remain woefully inadequate. The HIV/AIDS threat is largely confined to injecting drug users and is projected to remain so with significant resources now flowing from the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). However, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria remain serious problems. TB prevalence in prisons remains at extremely high levels, largely due to overcrowding. In education, school infrastructure and teaching methods have not changed in years, and salary levels remain abysmally low. While standards have been maintained at some urban schools with the support of parents, rural students receive a vastly different education. Significant donor resources from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the Education for All Tracks Initiative are flowing to this sector resulting in new opportunities for the USG to leverage these investments.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

U.S. assistance in the social sector is prioritized to fight infectious diseases, consolidate health reforms, promote maternal and child health and assist in efficient and effective use of resources from the GFATM. Assistance in education is focused primarily on reforms in primary and secondary education, including teacher training, education finance, and community involvement. A small anti-corruption activity, in the form of support for standardized testing of high school graduates, continues to receive USG support.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

In the area of preventing HIV/AIDS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assisted in the areas of surveillance and blood safety. The CAPACITY Project reforms policy, informs vulnerable populations on prevention, and improves the quality of services. The Drug Demand Reduction Program (DDRP) works to prevent a generalized epidemic by preventing drug use and changing attitudes toward drugs.

The USG support assists in the implementation of Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS), strengthens political support for TB control, maintains drug supplies, improves TB program supervision, and increases awareness of TB. In addition, the CDC initiative works to improve laboratory diagnosis and electronic surveillance case management.

The Roll Back Malaria program works to contain and prevent malaria and reduce the incidence and prevalence of malaria through strengthened surveillance, local capacity building, integrated vector control, and advocacy.

Activities to prevent Avian Influenza focus on the veterinary aspects, and on laboratory and clinician preparedness for human outbreaks.

The ZdravPlus project works to promote health reform (finance reform and promotion of evidence-based medicine, EBM) and builds capacity for quality improvement and EBM at the facility level. ZdravPlus assists with implementation of the second national health reform program, which provides national roll-out of many USG-initiated reforms. The CDC initiative implements the Applied Epidemiology Training Program (AETP) to increase capacity to respond to public health threats. The CDC also focuses on application of the International Live Birth Definition (ILBD), which allows accurate assessment and reduction of infant mortality. The Healthy Family Project strengthens maternal, child and reproductive health services through provider training, linked to community outreach, capacity-building, and policy reform. ZdravPlus works to implement WHO's Effective Perinatal Care (PEPC) strategies.

The Participation, Education and Knowledge Strengthening (PEAKS) project works to improve education quality by building teacher and school principal training capacity, mobilizing communities to support their schools, and introducing a new, more efficient school finance mechanism. The National Scholarship Test, a standardized university entrance exam, improves access to higher education for rural students.

OUTPUTS

The USG trained 47 blood specialists in measures to control blood-borne infections in Bishkek and Osh when USG supported blood safety investigations revealed high levels of infections among blood donors. The USG assisted the government with a decree on HIV/TB services. More than 50 healthcare specialists were trained on dual HIV/TB infection. Almost 40,000 injecting drug users (IDUs), prostitutes, and at-risk youth benefited from HIV outreach and education training. A Youth Power Center (YPC) was opened in Bishkek, which provided alternative services to 744 youths and reached 149 youth with counseling. The USG also developed a new, evidence-based HIV/AIDS curriculum which was integrated into the curricula of two state medical schools.

The USG provided assistance to improve laboratory TB detection. Training materials for basic microscopy were developed and are being used by the National TB Center for laboratory training. The USG initiated a pilot Logistic Management Information System (LMIS) pilot in the Talas region, and the USG trained 255 Primary Health Care (PHC) staff in collaboration with the National Postgraduate Institute.

In addition, the USG-funded programs implemented TB electronic surveillance and case management (ESCM) and new TB reporting forms were introduced to allow more reliable data collection. Forty-one laboratory personnel in Chui oblast received training on TB smear microscopy quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC).

The USG assisted the Kyrgyz Republic with its successful malaria application to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). A WHO field office in Osh was established, baseline surveys and training were conducted, surveillance mechanisms were reinforced, and case management was improved.

The USG established learning resource centers (LRC), at the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy and Osh State University. In total, Central Asian LRCs served nearly 26,000 health professionals and students; provided 2,078 health professionals with computer and Internet training, and evidence-based practice; responded to 86 information requests; and, received 11,663 visitors.

The USG provided support for activities under the National Health Reform Program, training 1,450 clinicians. Quality Improvement activities were initiated in pilot rayons in each oblast. In Issyk-Kul Oblast, 208 PHC workers were trained in Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) and 66% of households participated in PRA sessions.

The USG initiated a Safe Motherhood/Promotion of Effective Perinatal Care pilot with hospitals in Issyk-Kul region. Training was provided to 300 feldshers(former soviet equivalent of physicians assistants) on Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. The USG also trained 557 healthcare providers in ante-natal care, essential newborn care, reproductive health/family planning, neonatal resuscitation, breast feeding, and infection control.

The USG trained nearly 4,000 primary and secondary teachers on modern methodologies at schools where more than 90,000 students study. In FY06, the USG built the capacity of in-service institutions to deliver training on interactive teaching and learning methods for teachers and school management. In-service institutes and professional development schools also received training in Instructional Design to prepare them to improve training offerings and develop new training programs. The USG also built partnerships between schools and communities in target areas. Fifty-nine Community Education Committees were created to address non-attendance and quality deterioration. Twenty-seven schools received small grants for community school rehabilitation, which were matched by community contributions ranging from 20%-56% of the project value in the form of labor and materials. The USG trained over 400 education administrators in school management, strategic planning, and accounting. In education finance policy reform, the USG piloted a new per-student funding formula.

Since 2002, USG assistance has supported capacity building in test development and the implementation of the National Scholarship exam to improve access for rural students to higher education.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

The USG significantly improved the management of dual infection of TB and HIV and in antiretroviral adherence. With USG support, the Kyrgyz Republic was the first in the region to develop and issue a decree on HIV/TB infection. For the first time since the WHO-endorsed Directly Observed Therapy strategy (DOTS) was implemented in the Kyrgyz Republic, treatment success among patients exceeded the WHO target. As a result of U.S. sponsored programs, the approved TB decree endorsed the status of the National Reference laboratory, standardized functions of the oblast bacteriological and PHC laboratories, and approved the guidelines on Laboratory TB Diagnosis by direct acid fast bacteria microscopy.

Joint work between all USG health implementers led to the development of pre- and post-release algorithms to be ratified by a government decree and a series of joint Ministerial orders, providing a concrete mechanism for cross-sector collaboration to improve continuity and coordination of TB services and DOTS treatment for prisoners and ex-prisoners.

As a result of the USG assistance, the percentage of iodized salt being sold throughout Issyk-Kul Oblast increased from 62% in March to 85% in August.

LBD has reached national implementation and helped achieve reliable statistical data on perinatal mortality, initiated an efficient data collection system, increased motivation and ownership of the data by clinical personnel, promoted commitment and collaboration of local non-medical authorities, and a established a realistic basis for harmonization of neonatal care with international standards.

As a result of Healthy Family Project's training and support, the Laylak Rayon Hospital has been certified as baby friendly, reflecting compliance with ten criteria to improve neonatal outcomes. In the two pilot sites of the project, 83% of PHC facilities are now practicing IMCI, and 100% of PHC facilities have staff able to offer quality services and counseling. The staff of the three largest health facilities in Batken 0blast is now capable of providing life-saving neonatal resuscitation to WHO standards.

The Health Partnerships Program efforts on nursing reform led to nursing leaders' involvement, resulting in a broader impact of support for the positive changes made in nursing education. Curriculum changes introduced at the Bishkek Nursing College were incorporated into the national educational standards.

In the program to increase equitable access to quality basic education, performance improved in areas dependent on central government decision-making. In other areas less dependent on the central government, progress continued at the same positive rate seen in earlier years. Nearly 1,600 teachers were trained in 19 new cluster schools in the south. The project exceeded its goal in distributing teacher manuals and journals to make up for delays with publications originally scheduled for last year. At their request, training this year also focused on capacity building in the in-service teacher training institutes. PDS registered as independent service providers with their own bank accounts, preparing to seek support for their training activities from government and private sources. In the area of community mobilization, the project focused on wrapping up community-level mobilization activities and beginning work on publications and events designed to summarize best practices in the area. Work to improve sector management continued successfully this year with training activities aimed mainly at lower level education administrators and school directors. Importantly, the GOK committed to work with the USG on a per capita finance pilot in Tokmok city. Monitoring data has highlighted areas in which the pilot city could improve efficiency by closing some small schools. PEAKS organized a series of trainings for textbook authors to ensure that new manuscripts published by other donor projects support interactive learning methods and meet other quality standards.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Investing in People. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Tuberculosis Incidence per 100,000- Number of newly diagnosed tuberculosis cases, all forms during the given calendar year. Source: World Health Organization, European Health For All Database, found online at: http://data.euro.who.int/hfadb/.

CY 2000 Baseline

CY 2003 Number

CY 2004 Number

CY 2005 Target

126.94

130.94

123.89

122



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator improved in CY 2004, indicating a reduction in tuberculosis (TB) incidence. The USG support for the Kyrgyz Republic's national TB control program improved implementation of the DOTS strategy in the civilian and penitentiary systems. USG programs build political support for TB control, improve human and system capacity, and enhance program management, supervision, and surveillance. Increasing rates of multi-drug resistant TB, as well as the challenge of the prison sector, threaten the effectiveness of DOTS and require increased use of costly medications and longer period of treatment.

Performance Indicator: Percentage Of Population Living Under the Poverty Line. Source: World Bank Poverty Indicators.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2004 Percentage

CY 2005 Percentage

CY 2006 Target

50%

49%

45.9%

43.6%



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator improved in CY 2005. However, the influence of USG assistance on this indicator is not attributable to any single program, but rather to all assistance programs and government policies. The new baseline, targets and methodology for this indicator are those of the Kyrgyz National Statistical Committee as explained in the 2006 Kyrgyz Country Development Strategy. Assistance in economic growth has had more impact on poverty reduction than programs in other areas. The education and health activities are predicated on their long term impact on human capital development; they do not impact the poverty level from one year to the next.

Peace and Security

The relative insecurity of its borders and continued widespread official corruption remain the two main challenges to the Kyrgyz Republic's peace and security. The borders of the Kyrgyz Republic are rugged, irregular and poorly marked and controls implemented by neighboring states are for the most part rudimentary and inefficient. When combined with pervasive governmental and societal corruption these challenges make the Kyrgyz Republic vulnerable to infiltration by international terrorists, traffickers in narcotics, other illegal traffic and, potentially weapons of mass destruction. Two examples from 2006 illustrate this vulnerability. In May, several Kyrgyz border officials were killed during a skirmish with suspected Islamic terrorists near the Tajik border. In September, officials from the southern city of Osh explained to Embassy officials that increasing narcotics production in Afghanistan, much of which is smuggled through the Kyrgyz Republic, had affected street prices so significantly that buying heroin was now less expensive than buying beer. On the positive side, narcotics seizures by the Drug Control Agency (DCA), which was established with U.S. funding, increased dramatically in 2006, as the agency adopted use of polygraphs to vet employees.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

U.S. programs to promote peace and security in the Kyrgyz Republic focused on enhancing border controls, enhancing export controls, building indigenous counter-narcotics capabilities, and promoting law enforcement reform. Enhancing the facilities, training and pay of border officials, including customs officials, border guards and DCA officials, helped reduce the opportunity for criminal and terrorist groups to use the Kyrgyz Republic as a transit country or to foment political violence inside the country. In addition, because the Kyrgyz Republic has become a source, transit route, and growing increasingly a destination for illegally trafficked men, women, and children, U.S. assistance also worked to deter trafficking in persons. The establishment of the DCA as an independent agency was a first step in reducing corruption; next steps included working to vet all agency employees with polygraphs and the setting of targets for narcotics seizures. A law enforcement reform program designed to reduce corruption among traffic police is critical to efforts to enhance public trust in law enforcement authorities and government.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

FY 2006 USG funding to combat WMD proliferation financed the refurbishment of a border control post at Bek-Abad near the southern city of Jalalabad, funded the refurbishment of a printing facility to produce fraud-resistant passports, and supported the acquisition of basic equipment for enhanced surveillance of borders. Counter-narcotics assistance was directed at instituting polygraphs at the DCA, firing employees who failed polygraphs, and greatly increasing the quantity of narcotics seized by DCA officials during 2006. Assistance to reform law enforcement was directed at efforts to eliminate bribe-taking by the National Traffic Police through salary enhancements and the introduction of tickets to replace on the spot cash fines, and the provision of equipment to help combat trafficking in persons. In addition, USG assistance funds were used in FY 2006 to provide the Kyrgyz Air Force with four AN-2 airplanes and one Mi-8 helicopter to be used by the Kyrgyz Republic to defend its borders and fight terrorism and narcotics trafficking.

The Kyrgyz Republic is a source, transit route, and increasingly a destination for men, women, and children trafficked from neighboring countries and across the region for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Victims of forced labor are trafficked to Kazakhstan for work in the agricultural sector, to Russia for work in construction, and to China for bonded labor. Kyrgyz and foreign women are trafficked to the U.A.E, China, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria for sexual exploitation. Kyrgyz boys are trafficked to Russia and Kazakhstan for sexual exploitation. The Kyrgyz Republic is a growing destination for women trafficked from Uzbekistan for the purpose of sexual exploitation. To combat this problem, U.S. assistance programs focus focused on a mix of strategies, including assistance to the government to establish a framework for the effective prosecution of traffickers; prevention of trafficking through information campaigns, hot-lines and awareness-raising activities; and protection of those who have been victims of trafficking through support for shelters, counseling and other support services. In FY 2006, USG assistance focused on prevention and protection of victims.

OUTPUTS

U.S. assistance supported the opening of a DCA branch office in Osh and funded the Nebraska National Guard to provide initial training for new personnel and upgrade the skills of employees at other DCA locations.

USG funded programs helped the Traffic Police by renovating offices in order to create space for vetting of employees by polygraph. In addition, 22 vehicles, radios and associated equipment were procured for delivery in early FY07. In May, the U.S. brought the director of the traffic police to the U.S. to observe police operations in Fairfax County, Virginia and Washington DC.

U.S. assistance to the Kyrgyz Police Academy helped refurbish a classroom, lab and library at the forensic center and procured new equipment for the processing of evidence. In addition, a dormitory and a computer lab were refurbished and outfitted with new furniture and computers. Furthermore, a van was purchased to transport students to various training venues and two sedans were procured for driver training.

U.S. assistance funded the opening of a refurbished Passport Production Center, which facilitated the rollout of a new Kyrgyz passport that meets global standards by incorporating the latest anti-fraud technology and replaced the old easily forged version.

Training and Conferences included: two participants from the DCA to Russia for an anti-drug operational meeting; one person to the US for a study tour (Traffic Police Director); two participants to the US for an anticorruption conference; eight people to Human Rights conferences in the Czech Republic funded by U.S. Department of Justice; two people to an Intellectual Property Conference in Hungary, funded by U.S. Department of Justice; and, three people to an Anti-drug operational meeting in Uzbekistan funded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

To promote information sharing and cross-border collaboration on trafficking issues, USG assistance supported the creation of a Central Asia regional NGO anti-trafficking network in September 2006 that included 24 NGOs in the Kyrgyz Republic, six of which are direct USG partners.

The USG opened two new trafficking victim shelters in 2006, in Bishkek (NGO Sezim) and Osh (Podruga), and ten trafficking victims (eight women, two men) received support. In an example of positive NGO-governmental collaboration, the government provided suitable shelter space conveniently located in medical buildings for the two new shelters.

In FY 2006, migrant labor resource centers opened in Bishkek and Osh. These centers offer various services and information for migrant workers including: job employer vetting service; vocational training; information guidance on safe and legal migration; and, legal services and other support.

USG support, working with local partner NGOs, produced public information materials including public service announcements, documentary and educational films, informational booklets, and research on trafficking in persons. In FY 2006, 4,426 people received training on trafficking as part of prevention campaigns. Participants represented the following groups: 50% youth; 20% vulnerable populations; 20% specialists providing services to victims; and, 10% general population/government officials.

Kyrgyz Telecom also provided IOM with two separate three digit numbers for hotlines that operate toll-free in the major city centers of the country. The three digit hotline number, however, does not reach rural areas which are often the origin of trafficking victims.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Counter-narcotics assistance has enhanced the effectiveness and professionalism of the DCA, through the introduction of polygraph vetting to reduce corruption, the dismissal of corrupt officials, and training. The result has been a five-fold increase from 2005 in seizures of illicit drugs in the first nine months of 2006.

Border control assistance has increased the professionalism of customs officials at refurbished border posts, and promoted enhanced interagency coordination among border, customs and police officials. In the area of law enforcement, the introduction of polygraph vetting for traffic police has the potential to drastically reduce corruption, and the renovation of police academy facilities has greatly expanded student capacity.

The amount of corruption surrounding the production of Kyrgyz passports has been virtually eliminated. The last remaining opportunity for passport corruption is found in rural areas where some passport personnel are selling passport applications. Regardless, USG assistance has greatly reduced the availability and production of fraudulent Kyrgyz government issued documents.

The anti-trafficking program seeks to decrease the overall level of illegal trafficking in persons throughout the region. Each project is designed to influence or assist a small segment of the problem. It is difficult to measure the impact of each individual project but assessment can more easily be made by analyzing trafficking statistics for the region. Outreach projects seek to increase awareness of trafficking risks and provide exit strategies for high risk groups and vulnerable populations. Migrant training programs work to increase the availability of preventive vocational training to encourage legal employment in home countries; improved. U.S. funded NGOs hope to provide sustainable basic needs assistance for trafficking victims. Consultation centers for migrant laborers work to empower migrant workers through education and advocacy. Public information programs seek to raise awareness of the plight of victims and decrease of their stigmatization and re-victimization. U.S. funding for anti-trafficking programs in the Kyrgyz Republic will likely end next year as a result of resource constraints, the availability of significant other international donor funding, and the demonstrated willingness of the national government to actively cooperate with anti-trafficking efforts.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Peace and Security. In the chart, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The Embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," covering events from January 1 - December 31 of the subject year or last calendar year.

Performance Indicator: State Department Global Trafficking in Persons Report country rankings. Tier 1 countries are those whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Tier 2 countries are those whose governments do not fully comply with the Act's minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Tier 3 countries are those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. Source: U.S. State Department Global Trafficking in Persons Annual Report. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at Found online at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

CY 2007 Target

3

2

2

2

1



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: The Kyrgyz Republic's ranking did not change in 2005. Although the government continued to strengthen overall efforts to combat human trafficking, more remains to be done. In FY 2006, the USG implemented programs to prevent trafficking through information campaigns, hot-lines and awareness-raising activities; and to protect those who have been victims of trafficking through support for shelters, counseling and other support services. For the Kyrgyz Republic's ranking to improve, the Government needs to show increased financial commitment for these types of activities

Humanitarian Assistance

In FY 2006 the Kyrgyz Republic continued its sometimes tumultuous transformation into a modern democratic state. The struggle between parliament and the president over the drafting of the new constitution and other core matters left little time for implementing promised reforms or attention to social welfare issues. The U.S. humanitarian program worked to provide medicines and relief items to meet the basic needs of vulnerable people during this time of transition.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The main priority of humanitarian programs in the Kyrgyz Republic continued to be the distribution of medicines and other necessities to the most vulnerable people living in underserved institutions and hard to reach areas. In addition, a concerted effort was made to bolster the U.S. Government's (USG) ability to respond to natural and man made disasters and crises.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

For FY 2006, the U.S. funded humanitarian program included an on-going commodity distribution project, an on-going healthcare services project, a small reconstruction project, pre-placement of a disaster response package, and the initiation of a Department of State hospital upgrade project.

The distribution of donated and USG excess medical and other relief items was accomplished through a partnership between the U.S. Government and two U.S. Private Voluntary Organizations(PVOs). Grants to these PVOs funded needs assessments, sourcing of requested items, distribution and in-country monitoring. Transportation and other logistical requirements were competitively bid directly by the U.S. Government.

As part of a plan to bolster overall USG disaster preparedness for the entire region, seven containers of disaster assistance items (folding beds, blankets, medical supplies) have been pre-positioned for the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, to dispense as needed. In January 2006, the USG humanitarian program responded with existing in-country resources to a request for disaster assistance from the Minister of Emergencies, to aid victims of heavy snowfall (drifts/avalanches).

The USG funded Small Reconstruction Project in 2006 involved the renovation a school for the blind in Bishkek. This institution serves 168 sight-impaired children, ages 7 to 19, many of whom are orphans, and have other physical and/or mental disabilities. The project repaired the sewage system, which now has working toilets and showers. The school has been a past recipient of other humanitarian assistance through the humanitarian program, including bedding, clothing and food.

In addition to the above activities, the USG funded a Small and Medium Transportation Program (SMTP) that provided free shipping to any registered U.S. charitable organization that wished to send humanitarian commodities to local partners in Kyrgyzstan. In May, a regional conference was held in Bishkek for participating consignees from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to share program information, best practices and provide a forum to discuss future cooperative projects.

Also in FY 2006, a Department of State hospital equipment upgrade project was initiated for select healthcare institutions in Bishkek. A technical assessment was conducted by a team of doctors and medical equipment experts in March and the first delivery of 56 containers of basic equipment and supplies was delivered in late September. An additional 30 containers of larger equipment will be delivered in Spring 2007. The project will be completed in March of 2007 when an installation team arrives in Bishkek to install equipment and provide training. The total value of this project is expected exceed $12 million.

OUTPUTS

The primary focus of the USG humanitarian program is the distribution of humanitarian commodities, for which need has been verified, to vulnerable persons beyond the reach of other USG assistance programs and Kyrgyz Government social welfare spending. Overall in FY 2006, the humanitarian program delivered 69 surface containers and 3 airlifts of various humanitarian commodities valued at $15.67 million not including deliveries made as part of the DOS hospital project. The cost to transport, distribute and monitor these commodities was just over $1.5 million. Commodities delivered included, medicines, medical supplies, shelter items, clothing, shoes, food, blankets, linens, hygiene kits and school supplies. Specific outputs are described below including non-commodity services and infrastructural rehabilitations.

  • A wheelchair distribution program in the Jalal-Abad Oblast of Kyrgyzstan provided 116 wheelchairs to disabled persons in September and October of 2006.

  • Overall, one humanitarian program implementer delivered 27 containers of assistance in FY)6, valued at $3,270,841. 

  • In 2006, approximately $10 million in medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, including urgently needed antibiotics, was provided through a medical commodity distribution program to partner hospitals and organizations in Kyrgyzstan. One of the recipient organizations, Kyrgyz NGO Family Group Practice Association, uses the provided assistance to provide medical services to vulnerable populations in rural areas of the country. 

  • In late September, the Department of State sponsored hospital upgrade project delivered 56 containers of medical supplies valued at $10 million to the following institutions: Bishkek Clinical Hospital #1, National Center of Oncology, Bishkek Science Research Center for Trauma and Orthopedics, Bishkek Ambulance Service and the War Veterans Department in the National Hospital. Included in the shipment were various specifically requested medical supplies and instruments including surgical kits, bandages, gloves, sutures, laboratory equipments and thousands of other items.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Humanitarian programs, while significantly impacting the day-to-day lives of recipients, are not designed to have long lasting impacts on recipient countries; however, some aspects of these programs assist in sustainable development. The provision of relief supplies and the renovation of facilities alleviate some of the burden placed on the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and allow for resources to be focused on democratic and economic reforms that will enable the country to care for its own. In addition, humanitarian programs foster greater cross cultural understanding between our two countries and can stand as a foundation for future economic and cultural exchange activities. Lastly, humanitarian programs can help the local government identify areas in need of improvement and act as a blueprint for how to begin solving social welfare problems.

FY 2006 Funds Budgeted for U.S. Government Assistance to Kyrgyz Republic [PDF format]



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