FY 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance
FY 2008 Foreign Assistance Goals
In the Kyrgyz Republic, United States Government (USG) assistance sought to promote rule of law by combating corruption in law enforcement and improving the ability of Kyrgyz security and law enforcement to control the borders and to enhance the operational ability of security forces to counter efforts by terrorists to infiltrate in the south, as occurred in 2006. USG democracy assistance programs focused on local government and creating the conditions for community development to promote the ideas of rule of law, decentralization of power, and accountability of government. Education and health remain important areas where continued assistance can positively affect the Kyrgyz Republic’s development. To promote economic growth, USG assistance emphasized improving the business environment for private sector development, including a focus on the energy sector, to help increase the growth of domestic companies as well as attract foreign investment and promote trade.
Total FY 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $30.11m*
(*Foreign Operations appropriated assistance, excluding Peace Corps funds and centrally managed Foreign Operations funds that are not budgeted for specific countries. HA total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $10.48 million in FY 2008.)
Highlights of FY 2008 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Helped the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (GOKG) to combat terrorism by improving GOKG law enforcement capabilities and increasing sub-regional communication and cooperation, and by providing technical assistance to the Kyrgyz defense forces to build capacity to counter internal and external threats. In FY 2008, USG funds helped to construct a training facility that will be the centerpiece of professional development for the forces that conduct counter-terror operations.
- Provided equipment and training to increase the capabilities of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense forces and the National Guard. USG funds trained twenty-three officers in US military professional development schools of medicine, maneuver, intelligence, and communications. These officers were posted throughout the defense forces upon their return.
- Reduced proliferation threats through cooperative engagement of scientists, technicians, and engineers with WMD and applicable expertise through USG assistance to the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
- Training and technical assistance to the Kyrgyz Drug Control Agency (DCA) resulted in 312 kilograms of drugs seized in the first half of 2008 which represents more than a doubling of seizure amounts over the corresponding period in 2007. The DCA also initiated 85 criminal cases since the beginning of 2008 a significant improvement over last year.
Governing Justly and Democratically
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Increased public awareness of human rights issues through advocacy campaigns, discussions of draft legislation, and public hearings. Following the passage of a restrictive law on public assemblies, USG advocacy efforts resulted in the creation of a working group to ensure that the law met international standards.
- Promoted better collaboration between local governments, citizens, and businesses. As a result, citizen surveys show an increase in the percentage of citizens who say their local government is open and responsive to the public.
- Supported a project which delineated functions between local governments and state administration offices, resulting in more administrative autonomy of local governments.
- Provided legal assistance to low income and marginalized communities. Five legal aid centers provided almost 200 consultations. To further assist marginalized communities, 24 law students and lawyers were trained in how to teach civic education courses to vulnerable communities.
- Assisted the GOKG to amend its criminal procedure code to transfer arrest warrant authority from prosecutors to judges as per the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The GOKG also drafted legislation allowing jury trials for selected criminal cases and introduced criminal task force model to members of relevant agencies to improve narcotics prosecutions.
- Expanded participation in civil society and support for non-governmental organizations. Nearly 200 Kyrgyz citizens participated in exchanges to the United States, expanding their understanding of the democratic process. Public diplomacy programs also improved the reporting skills of journalists and helped to promote independent media and freedom of speech.
Investing in People
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Produced substantial results in primary health care development, general health system strengthening, and health financing reform. USG support enabled substantial improvement to payment systems for tuberculosis, high-cost and specialized services, epidemiological services, and nursing education. The number of people covered by USAID-supported health financing arrangements reached 85 percent (4,375,145 people) of the population.
- Provided support that helped 31 doctors graduate from the USG-supported family medicine residency program, and the Medical Accreditation Commission accredit 60 health providers.
- Continued USG support to the Ministry of Health that enabled a national roll-out of the Safe Motherhood Program, in collaboration with other donors. The program is being implemented in 48 percent of all maternity wards, involving six of the total seven oblasts.
- Improved integration and collaboration among multiple Ministry of Health offices, agencies, and institutions to improve TB services and referrals.
- Supported the first AIDS Servicing NGOs National Forum in Bishkek. The forum resulted in formation of the Coordination Bureau for HIV/AIDS assistance non-governmental organizations to improve coordination and also collaboration with government agencies.
- Provided HIV test kits and technical assistance to investigate the pediatric HIV outbreak in Osh, and trained 678 health professionals on HIV modes of transmission, screening for HIV and HIV prevention.
- In the area of education, supported efforts to accredit the American University in Central Asia (AUCA), now one of the most respected universities in Central Asia. AUCA is working towards U.S. accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Supported the passage and signing in October 2008 of the new Tax Code and improvements in accounting measures that enable the GOKG to manage public resources more efficiently and transparently, and to implement a more transparent and predictable tax regime.
- Laid the groundwork for future improvement in the trade environment, including reduction of investment constraints and facilitation of trade by developing trade services for importers and exporters, and reducing barriers to cross-border trade.
- Met key goals on trade policy and WTO compliance including assistance to a Inter-Ministerial Working Group that developed a draft Medium-term Trade Strategy, preparation of a roadmap of outstanding WTO compliance issues, identification of relevant implementation issues for review by the WTO Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and recommendations for laws and regulations related to technical requirements and protection of intellectual property rights.
- Provided training for senior officials on requirements of accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, for customs trainers on implementation of the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement, and for Ministry of Finance staff on food safety risk assessment.
- Resulted in the establishment of a special GOKG committee to coordinate preparation for addressing energy needs in the 2008-2009 winter season. One of the first recommendations of the committee was to install back up generators for critical hospitals and stock spare parts for electricity distribution companies.
- Supported the agricultural sector and increased prospects for food security. USG assistance this year resulted in a strategy for management and future use of the State-owned agricultural land reserve, which constitutes 25 percent of arable land. Support to the Investment Council under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Agriculture resulted in a package of legislative amendments, which would remove constraints on mortgaging agricultural land and eliminate other obstacles to agricultural land transactions.
- Provided help to 24 Water User Associations (WUAs), including establishment of five new associations in a vulnerable district. Water management and delivery were improved in 17 WUAs covering more than 21,000 hectares. WUA reported significant increases in agricultural productivity and net income because of improved water availability despite dry conditions. Net profits for the principal field crops showed a 185 percent increase over the past two years while acreage for cotton has reduced by 33 percent since 2005 to make way for wheat, maize, vegetable, and orchard crops. Increased income enabled WUA members to expand investment in water management by 22 percent.
- Helped to establish seven additional farm stores, thereby expanding the network of privately-owned retailers of high quality agricultural inputs to 35 throughout the country. These stores are a vital private distribution channel which will be used to distribute feed essential to the preservation of livestock in the upcoming winter.
- Assisted in the successful adoption of amendments to legislation governing microfinance institutions and credit unions. Amendments will enable these institutions to grow and to expand their loan portfolios as well as simplify registration, licensing, and reporting procedures.