PERFORMANCE REPORT HIGHLIGHTS: EURASIA REGIONALFY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
U.S. Government (USG) assistance to the Eurasia region encourages and enhances cross-border cooperation in security, health, education, financial markets, and energy, while supplementing bilateral programs with regional expertise to promote democratic institutions and strengthen civil society. Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $39.87 million*
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2009, including supplemental appropriations under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 110-329), but not including centrally managed, multi-regional Foreign Operations funding that benefits, but is not specifically budgeted for the Eurasian region. Humanitarian Assistance total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $4.18 million in FY 2009.)Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of FocusPeace and Security
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Governing Justly and Democratically
- Provided for U.S. contributions to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE’s primary challenge in 2009 was continuing its work to help transition Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries to sustainable democracies, and reducing tensions in the region resulting from the 2008 conflict in Georgia. In the aftermath of the war, the OSCE`s military monitoring team helped stabilize the situation in the regions bordering South Ossetia and Abkhazia, building confidence and facilitating the return of refugees. Monitors also kept track of reported incidents of ethnic cleansing and other destabilizing actions. Two other conflicts also fall directly within the purview of the OSCE: Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria. The organization was active with all three in 2009. The OSCE`s Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the Chairman in Office continued their work to promote a permanent and peaceful settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In other areas of the region, OSCE activities also supported efforts to build democracy through free and fair elections in Moldova, electoral reform in Azerbaijan, border management in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, and human rights training in Uzbekistan, among other projects.
- Cleared landmines remaining from the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) reducing the accident rate from 27% in 2004 to 3% in 2009. Since the de-mining program started in 2001, USG and other donors have supported clearance of an estimated 81 percent of the mines (half of which was funded by the USG) and 62% of the battle areas have been cleared in NK, leaving only 38% of the battle areas remaining in order for NK to be declared mine safe. Most of the land remaining to be cleared is fertile, and could be used for agriculture.
- Helped governments in the region address restrictive legislation affecting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and identify opportunities for favorable reform. For example, when the Azerbaijan Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Policy and Statehood submitted amendments to the draft NGO Law in June 2009, the USG supported a detailed analysis highlighting the most troublesome provisions of the law and distributed it to parliamentarians, members of the presidential administration, and international and local NGOs. As a result of this assistance, many of the restrictive provisions, including significant fines for NGO managers for any infractions, and for individuals or legal persons “speaking or acting” on behalf of an unregistered NGO, were eliminated from the text.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Investing in People
- Supported the production and publication of three indices that measure democratic development progress or regression across the region and over time: Nations in Transit (NIT), the Media Sustainability Index (MSI) and the NGO Sustainability Index (NGOSI). NIT is a comprehensive annual progress report on the status of democracy and governance reforms. The MSI assesses and ranks 21 countries based on freedom of speech, professional journalism, plurality of news sources, business management and supporting institutions. It is widely used by USG development officials, donor organizations, and indigenous media professionals to assess and modify programs in order to achieve greater impact. The NGOSI is a comprehensive and comparative research tool that examines the overall enabling environment of the civil society sector in the Europe and Eurasia region. It provides a wide-ranging and in-depth analysis of the NGO sector in each country, and is used by local NGOs, governments, other donors, academics, and both Embassies and USAID missions.
- Created an Information Referral Center to collect and disseminate information on programs/services for people with disabilities (PWD). As a result of this program, in FY 2009, Georgia launched a radio program to foster a greater understanding about PWD. In addition, Georgia developed a telecast for a video script on disability employment, and held a public awareness campaign as part of the National Disability Day. The campaign included participation by volunteers who distributed over 3,000 brochures. In Armenia, activities focused on strengthening the capacity of a coalition of NGOs that represent PWD. The coalition set up a regional distribution network comprised of four NGOs that are the regional coordinators tasked with disbursing grants to community based organizations.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Supported the regional HIV/AIDS Medication Assisted Therapy Policy project that assists policy makers in implementing services to reduce and eliminate dependence on illegal narcotics.
- Provided HIV/AIDS related information and resources for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan in order to assist local advocates and policy makers to implement and expand evidence-informed drug dependence services. The USG also developed two draft tools to take an inventory of policies, guidelines, and regulations that affect drug treatment implementation and to assess HIV/AIDS policy; these tools are being tested to determine their efficacy.
- Contributed toward revised tuberculosis (TB) infection control policies and practices in countries in the region and brought them up-to-date with international standards. Trained 60 people in the new practices and will send an international TB infection control expert to provide technical assistance to countries that participated in this training.
- Developed the e-TB Manager information management system for TB programs. The e-TB Manager integrates all relevant aspects required for national TB program management functions at different levels (e.g., cases, medicines, and other TB commodities) into a web-based tool and provides key information consolidated for rapid decision-making and epidemiological surveillance where interventions are needed. Professionals in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine were trained on how to use the e-TB Manager. The software links payments with treatment outcomes, so not only can national TB programs know how much it costs to cure an individual TB patient, but they also can see where the money is going, which will help to fight corruption in the health sector.
- Helped national policymakers to understand, monitor and compare their health systems to other countries’ by strengthening the regional National Health Accounts (NHA) Network and the capacity of member countries to produce and use NHA and beginning to establish the NHA Network as a legal entity so it can accept funding. At the country level, NHA data helped convince Armenia to triple its 2009 budget allocation for reproductive health and antenatal care, and helped encourage Georgia to increase its health insurance coverage for the poor.
- Conducted two regional academic consultations in Russia and Georgia with participants from Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic to begin the process of pre-service medical education reform for family planning. USG assistance supported the development of evidence-based family planning core competencies and a curriculum for medical undergraduate students, and supported workshops in Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic to teach medical and nursing school faculty the latest innovations in family planning.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Developed, tested and promoted global use of an integrated set of “model” tools for closing compliance gaps between current practices and international standards of financial transparency and accountability issued by the two international standard setters in this arena: the International Accounting Standards Board and the International Federation of Accountants. USG resources piloted demonstration projects, including one in Moldova, to identify gaps in compliance with international benchmarks.
- Supported internationally recognized best practices in the financial markets and related laws/regulations, and policies across the Eurasia region by training over 450 financial sector participants (both public and private sector) on various financial issues including: the actuary certification programs, improvement of risk management and portfolio management by pension funds, the modernization of securities regulations and supervision, and the application of best practices in the accounting and auditing professions.
- Trained 39 financial regulators/supervisions and certified 124 financial sector professionals in compliance with international financial standards related to actuarial sciences and accounting. The promotion of the actuarial sciences proved to be a success story of transporting skills developed in Central and Eastern Europe to the Eurasia region. The USG initiative arranged for cooperation between the Warsaw Actuarial Summer School in Poland and the Actuarial Society of Kazakhstan, which resulted in the second regional actuarial school program being established in Kazakhstan, and the first in the Kyrgyz Republic and Azerbaijan.
- Supported the Athens Energy Community and its efforts to create regional electricity and gas markets integrated with the Western European internal energy market and sharing a sound and common regulatory framework. Energy Community negotiations with Moldova and Ukraine were concluded in December 2009, with accession to the Community contingent in both cases on domestic approval of energy legislation that meets Community standards.
- Provided support to over 4,300 enterprises and entrepreneurs through the Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) and the Centers for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (CEED). RCI-sponsored activities have enabled over 450 firms in the Eurasia region to receive assistance to improve their management practices and over 200 firms to receive support to invest in improved technologies. Private business associations participating in RCI activities gained 300 new members.
- Helped youth acquire knowledge and develop the skills needed in the global marketplace through the Junior Achievement Global Business Ethics public-private partnership program. In 2003, Junior Achievement and private-sector partners formed a $5 million Global Development Alliance (GDA) that helps students aged 15-18 develop foundational attitudes and skills necessary for entrance into the workforce. Training focuses on business ethics, aimed at enabling students to compete more responsibly and effectively in domestic and international markets. By December 2008, the Junior Achievement Global Business Ethics GDA worked directly with over 130,000 students, involving more than 3,000 teachers and volunteers in post-communist Europe and Eurasia.
- Assisted a cadre of transmission planning specialists from the Black Sea transmission system operators (TSO) to develop and use the region’s first integrated transmission planning model. The model aims to: (1) prioritize investments in the regional grid that are necessary to enhance national and regional energy security; (2) increase system reliability by coordinating development of the grid to take advantage of temporal and seasonal variations in energy use and production; (3) enhance economic efficiency through increased trade and exchange of electricity; and (4) improve the overall efficiency of trans-national energy systems through coordinated development of the regional electric power transmission network. In FY 2009, the Black Sea Working Group (WG) continued its push toward sustainability through capacity building programs designed to enhance the skills of its members. Fourteen engineers from the participating TSOs were trained in modeling the dynamic behavior of the electricity network, which complements previous training on modeling and analyzing the system capacity.
- Facilitated the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to create a partnership to support the AGT Power Bridge Project. Under this MOU, electric power transmission planning specialists from each country will study and analyze the sub-regional high voltage electricity network to evaluate its capacity to support increased trade and exchange of electricity. The partnership’s analysis will provide engineers and policy makers with a tool to optimize the security and reliability of the sub-regional electricity network and prioritize reinforcements within the network that are necessary to support increased trade, improve system reliability and enhance energy security.