PERFORMANCE REPORT HIGHLIGHTS: KYRGYZ REPUBLICFY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
The primary objectives of U.S. assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic are to enhance the country’s security, support broad-based economic growth that will raise living standards, and nurture democratic freedoms. These objectives are interrelated; enhanced security brings the stability needed to pursue economic and democratic reforms and a more open society can better balance democratic governance with efforts to resist extremist ideologies. At the same time, improved economic conditions, available to a majority of Kyrgyz citizens across ethnic groups, are important for sustained democratic reforms and stability. Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $58.93 million*
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2009, including supplemental appropriations under the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-32), but not including $2.16 million in Peace Corps funding and centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries. Humanitarian Assistance total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $19.33 million in FY 2009.) Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of Focus Peace and Security
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Governing Justly and Democratically
- Trained over 100 Kyrgyz Government (GOK) security professionals on the role of police executives in combating terrorism, preventing attacks on soft targets, interdicting terrorist activity, explosive incident countermeasures, and border control management. These trainings improved GOK law enforcement capabilities, and increased sub-regional communication and cooperation.
- Provided the Ministry of Defense with radios for use by counterterrorism and mountain units in the Ministry of Defense and trained over 45 officers in U.S. military professional development schools of medicine, maneuver, intelligence, communications, mountain leadership, and military law. These officers were posted throughout the defense forces upon their return.
- Strengthened the export control system of the Kyrgyz Republic through training and the provision of equipment to enforcement agencies to enhance their ability to detect, interdict, and investigate illicit transfers of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), WMD-related items, and conventional arms. Export control experts from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and State Customs were sent to participate in the International Technical Working Group on Nuclear Smuggling, as well as an International Export Control Conference, and over 30 customs officers attended a course in WMD commodity identification.
- Procured 12 portable shelter complexes for the Border Guards to assist in manning several sections of the green border that was previously unmanned and sparsely patrolled. An automated licensing system equipment and training was provided to seven ministries to create and improve licensing procedures and practices for transfer of controlled items. The automated licensing equipment will allow both export controls licensing officials and State Customs representatives to share information within one network.
- Resulted in an increase in the amount of heroin, opium and hashish seized by the Kyrgyz Drug Control Agency (KDCA) during the first six months of the year, as compared to the same period in 2008. Heroin seizures were up 331% - from 54 kg to 179 kg; opium seizures were up 472%, from 25 to118 kilograms, and hashish seizures were up 166%, from 171 to 285 kilograms.
- Provided training in traffic safety to 57 Bishkek Traffic Police officers and renovated the Kyrgyz Republic Police School’s cafeteria in order to improve the learning environment and promote a greater sense of professionalism.
- Supported former weapons scientists in non-weapons research through the Moscow-based International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Investing in People
- Supported legal education programs for over 1,700 high school students from 45 secular and 13 religious schools in order to increase their knowledge of their legal rights. USG programs provided a forum for Members of Parliament and civil society to discuss the new law on religion, and funded a joint working group between the State Agency for Religious Education and education experts leading to a draft law on Religious Education and inclusion of secular courses in religious institutes.
- Increased the capacity of local self-governments in the areas of local economic development, financial management, asset management, and responsiveness to their residents. All 25 city administrations of the Kyrgyz Republic and 135 selected partner rural municipalities (about 30% of all rural municipalities) received training and technical assistance. Citizen surveys show an increase in the percentage of citizens who are either “satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the performance of their city governments, from a low of 27% in 2006 to 67% in 2009. The Kyrgyz Republic is now much closer to meeting the requirements of the Council of Europe Charter of Local Self-Government - the international standard for an effective local self-governance framework.
- Trained over 440 political party poll watchers and 2,200 short-term election observers on how to lodge electoral disputes with the courts. Supported the production of 26 podcasts, highlighting the contributions of young Kyrgyz citizens to their communities, which were posted on popular local web platforms in an effort to increase political and civic participation among young people. Six suggestions on corrections to the Election Code from a USG-funded working group were reflected in the final version of the law approved by the parliament. Ninety Supreme Court judges from across the country were trained in adjudication of electoral disputes.
- Supported access to balanced information by the production and airing of social, political and documentary programming. Sixteen television stations aired the talk-shows, documentaries and feature stories both in Russian and Kyrgyz, which were distributed free-of-charge via satellite. Programs were fed through an open satellite feed which was accessible to owners of home satellite receivers. Provided seven production grants to TV broadcasters covering the topics of education, technology, geography, history, ecology, and social issues.
- Provided support and training to more than 100 Kyrgyz civil society organizations, resulting in policy changes at the local level including: increased budgetary resources for the elderly, community mobilization efforts to obtain access to education for disabled children, greater transparency of the activities of mining companies, and larger involvement of parents in monitoring quality of education in schools. Advocacy groups and policy makers participated in hundreds of meetings leading to greater understanding between local government and civil society.
- Supported the establishment of an Advocates Training Center that has conducted twelve trainings in continuing legal education for 222 defense attorneys. Organized a roundtable to discuss draft legislation on defense attorneys, leading to the Ministry of Justice’s decision to amend the bar examination process per the roundtable’s recommendations. Based in part on recommendations from a USG legal advisor, the Kyrgyz government also enacted legislation permitting jury trials in select criminal cases.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Continued to strengthen the implementation of the directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) strategy at the national and regional levels. USG assistance funded an assessment of tuberculosis (TB) program finance that revealed many operational and functional problems with the delivery of TB services, particularly with the continuity of care for patients who transfer from the TB system to primary health care facilities. In response, a roles and responsibilities methodology and modified check-lists for detection, registration, and treatment of TB cases in primary health care and TB facilities were developed.
- Supported implementation and evaluation of all aspects of the Kyrgyz Republic’s National Manas Taalimi sector-wide approach (SWAp) to health reform. The number of people covered by USG-supported health financing arrangements increased to 4.6 million people, or 89% of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic. The United States participated in the Manas Taalimi/SWAp Health Summit technical reviews, which led to a government review of the various sectors of the country’s medical education and health service provision systems.
- Supported the Family Group Practice Association’s (FGPA) efforts to coordinate quality improvement activities at primary health care facilities. Quality improvement was conducted on asthma and hypertension in 260 facilities. Follow-up monitoring on hypertension showed that strict observance of clinical treatment protocols, routine screening, and case detection has improved. Data show that cardiovascular complications, including heart attacks and strokes, have decreased in some regions. Results have also improved dramatically for asthma: health workers are now assessing peak expiratory flow (PEF) in nearly all patients suffering from asthma, and are able to calculate maximum predicted PEF and assess variability of PEF among patients with asthma.
- Helped to improve reproductive health of women living in rural areas of three oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic through increased access to and use of modern contraception. Sixty health care providers from primary health care clinics were trained in family planning counseling. Training was also provided for 125 pharmacists who sell contraceptive commodities. Outreach workers, trained with USG funding, conducted thousands of educational sessions for women of reproductive age living in rural areas.
- Developed education training modules, and working with three teacher training institutes, conducted 50 workshops for teachers and school administrators. Together with education institutions involved in teacher training, developed new modules based on existing curriculum and past training. In 2009, 15 modules were developed that encourage critical thinking methodologies in the classroom. The material was developed and presented in Kyrgyz language, and close government involvement in the development of the materials has produced strong support among teachers and administrators for its continued use. The Kyrgyz Academy of Education officially approved the new materials ensuring long-term sustainability of the intervention.
- Supported the use of the National Scholarship Test to improve rural and disadvantaged students’ access to higher education. Since the USG began support for the test in 2002, more than 220,000 students have taken the test, and 40,000 students have received government scholarships. In FY 2009, 37,000 students took the test and 5,000 students received scholarships. The 50 highest scores were given a presidential award recognizing their success. The test is now well known across the country as a corruption free means of admitting students into university.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Focused policymakers on reforms that help achieve positive performance on macroeconomic indicators, despite the world economic crisis. These include: GDP increase at a rate of 1.5% for the first seven months of 2009; substantial declines in imports and remittances were offset by growth in agriculture, construction and telecommunication sectors; inflation rate is rapidly declining (from 26.8% year on year to September 2008 to 9% year on year as of September 2009); and the national currency depreciated 11% since the beginning of 2009.
- Helped set the groundwork for future improvement in the Kyrgyz Republic’s trade environment, including bringing tariff lines for 31 items into WTO compliance. The list of goods subject to import licensing was reduced, and USG assistance helped create clear and transparent lists of goods subject to veterinary, sanitary, and phyto-sanitary controls. This reform reduces inspections of low-risk goods, removes double inspections of certain products, and facilitates border crossings by clarifying requirements for product safety for traders and border officials.
- Provided 275 metric tons of high quality wheat seeds and technical support to farmers that resulted in an average yield of 2.9 metric tons per hectare compared to 1.7 metric tons per hectare the year before. This emergency supply of wheat seeds in the fall of 2008 was used by seed farmers to produce 5,500 metric tons of quality seeds. Sold at current market prices, the value of the produced seed was approximately $3 million, or ten times higher than the initial USG investment of $300,000. Demonstrating advanced farming techniques for wheat and other crop production to approximately 100,000 farmers resulted in a bumper crop for the 2008-2009 season. Current estimates forecast production of up to 1.2 million metric tons of bread wheat, 400,000 metric tons more than the previous year.
- Provided 1,200 kg of livestock feed through private sector market outlets to address livestock feed shortages during the harsh winter months of 2008-2009, targeting 70,000 dairy cows, or 14% of the total number of dairy cattle in the Kyrgyz Republic. This intervention saved the lives of 22,000 cows and helped an additional 48,000 cows to maintain their body weight and improve milk production even during the winter months. The mortality rate among animals assisted by the program was only 3.6 percent, versus 13.5 percent among non-assisted animals. In addition, the average milk yield of assisted farms was 8.3 liters/day, or 25.8% higher compared to the winter-spring season of the last year.
- Helped water users’ associations (WUAs) in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic address irrigation problems in the agricultural sector. During FY 2009, the number of partner WUAs increased to 28 associations with a total of 30,464 rural households, or approximately 170,000 people, benefiting from this collaboration. As a result, 3,741 hectares of unused land were brought back into production during FY 2009, and crop production among WUA members was increased by 170%.
- Increased credit opportunities for small businesses and farmers, and improved the policy environment by building the capacity of the Association of Microfinance Organizations of Kyrgyzstan (AMFI). Assistance provided to the AMFI resulted in the successful amendment of legislation governing microfinance institutions and credit unions, which enabled microfinance growth and simplified registration, licensing and reporting procedures. A USG-supported financial institution disbursed over $7.8 million to 60 microfinance institutions (MFIs), including $5.4 million to rural clients. To help expand agricultural and rural lending, 12 MFIs were supported in their efforts to pilot innovative and more flexible lending techniques in rural areas. MFI’s increased their annual agricultural loan portfolios by 180% in FY 2009, exceeding their growth target by 30%.
- Enabled AMFI to increase its membership from 25 to 31 institutions with portfolios totaling more than $153 million and 272,626 active clients, exceeding the annual target 78,000 clients. The AMFI co-hosted Central Asia Regional Annual Microfinance conference in Bishkek in September 2009, which brought together more than 300 Microfinance practitioners and investors from the region and abroad.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Provided aid to vulnerable populations in the Kyrgyz Republic, including the elderly, orphaned children, and the disabled. USG resources leveraged significant contributions from partner NGOs, distributing donated medicine, medical supplies and non-medical assistance with a total value of over $19.33 million. The USG program assessed needs of vulnerable groups throughout the country and distributed aid in coordination with GOK and USG priorities. Programs provided services ranging from primary medical assistance (including medical and pharmaceuticals donations) to distribution of warm blankets, food and clothing for institutionalized or displaced populations.
- Provided back-up generators during winter 2008-2009 for 58 health facilities throughout the Kyrgyz Republic, thus ensuring a stable power supply during periods of frequent outages.