FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Kazakhstan
FY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
U.S. assistance in FY 2009 aimed to play a key role in strengthening Kazakhstan’s independence, significantly supporting non-proliferation of weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD) material, building market-oriented economic institutions, and laying the foundation for democratic development. Assistance continued to help Kazakhstan realize its potential as a regional leader and enhanced trade and economic links with the broader region, including South Asia.
Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $22.42 million
Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Trained Kazakhstan’s law enforcement officials on anti-terrorism, focusing on instructor development, detecting fraudulent travel documents, airport security management, cyber/digital evidence collection, post-blast investigations.
- Trained customs, licensing and border officials in export control systems, WMD commodity identification, cargo interdiction, and enforcement. The USG program supported participation of Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and Trade at two International Export Control Conferences, as well as the University of Georgia Export Control Academy. Additionally, a U.S.-Kazakhstan Export Control Investigations and Prosecutions Workshop was held to share best practices and discuss future challenges in the export control arena.
- Provided enforcement equipment (X-ray machines and video equipment) for the Kazakhstani Customs and Border Guard agencies to enhance their capability to inspect shipments and detect illicit shipments of WMD and their components. Provided portable shelter complexes for the Border Guards enabling patrols of larger sections of the green border. Established a new regional border guard training center in the northwest and a training center for border guards working in northern airports. Facilitated the introduction of new training methods, based on an Austrian model, for the use canines in customs and border operations.
- Provided U.S.-based military training programs for 23 Kazakhstani military officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) including senior-level professional military education and specialized training courses in infantry, logistics, joint and combined staff operations, maritime operations, and tactical intelligence. Training courses prepared officers and NCOs to integrate western operational and staffing concepts into Kazakhstani military operations and planning, and enhance cooperation.
- Sponsored train-the-trainer courses and participation in international conferences for Kazakhstani canine specialists that enabled the Kazakhstan Military Institute to provide 94 officers with counternarcotics canine training. Promoted Kazakhstan’s development as a regional leader in canine work through their adoption of international standards in canine service, including the use of dry food rather than relatively less healthy cooked food, the use of real narcotics in training rather than imitations, and the drafting of a textbook to be used by all canine services.
- Provided a week-long training in financial analysis to six representatives of the newly formed Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) in order to capitalize on newly passed anti-money laundering legislation, along with a seminar on corruption and money laundering for 21 police officers and 15 instructors at the Financial Police Academy. Sponsored an English Language Fellow at the Academy, increasing the cadets’ language capacity in order to facilitate cooperation with international counterparts.
- Provided the Karaganda Anti-Trafficking Center with books, computers, office equipment, and training to implement a computer-based trafficking in persons (TIP) program. Trained over 140 police officers, 40 prosecutors, 40 judges, ten instructors, and 20 non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders on TIP related topics.
- Funded Ministry of Justice (MOJ) study tours to Rome and Vladivostok to study victim protection and shelter operations. Provided grant funds to a local NGO to assist the MOJ in opening a TIP Shelter in Astana. Two information campaigns conducted in cooperation with NGOs and the government reached 80,000 people to strengthen cooperation with and an improved image for the police.
- Supported redirection of former weapons scientists to non-weapons research through grants from the Moscow-based International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
Governing Justly and Democratically
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Helped the Government of Kazakhstan (GOK) develop a presidentially endorsed National Human Rights Action Plan, which included recommendations on individual rights and freedoms, assessed the conformity of Kazakhstani laws with international human rights standards, and endorsed training programs for law enforcement agencies, judicial agencies, public monitors, and other relevant groups.
- Supported the Kazakhstani judiciary’s modernization efforts, training more than 580 justice sector personnel resulting in a 21% increase in public trust in video equipped courtrooms according to survey respondents. The USG supported the Kazakhstani Judges’ Association effort to revise the judicial code of ethics, which will be presented to the upcoming Fifth Congress of Judges. Based on this engagement, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court requested an expansion of cooperation to include commercial law training for judges.
- Trained over 800 political party members, including over 270 women, on party membership recruitment, organizational and communication structures, outreach, and new technologies (social networking sites, e-petitions, listservs and text messaging.) As a result, political parties are now utilizing new communication techniques; one party is now using text messaging to mobilize party members, and another is using the internet to post videos on important issues. Similarly, elected and appointed officials more willingly engage with citizens and citizen groups on community issues, such as electricity-rate hikes in Taraz which were lowered after meetings between local government and citizens on the issue.
- Supported civic participation and media programs, including through the Public Dialogue Initiative, which held a series of discussions on access to information reaching nearly 2000 participants. Twelve media grants were awarded on access to information resulting in 42 articles and 102 television and radio programs.
- Helped local NGOs to advocate for four positive modifications to the enabling legislation for civil society organizations, including the removal of the ban on state financing of public associations and an expansion of the category of NGOs eligible for tax-deductible corporate donations.
- Provided advocacy grants to 17 NGOs totaling $220,000, which increased civic participation and encouraged self-government initiatives; provided civic and leadership education to women, and promoted gender equality and participation in elections. Of particular importance was a project by the Women’s League of Creative Initiative, which consolidated efforts between the state and civic community to prevent the abandonment of children and support orphans by establishing seven guardian clubs which provide legal, social, and psychological support to orphans and guardians.
Investing in People
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Provided technical advice to help expand the number of people covered by GOK health financing arrangements from 74% to 100% of the population of Kazakhstan, or 16,041,200 people.
- Trained health professionals in various topics related to the control and prevention of Tuberculosis including laboratory testing, drug sensitivity, patient counseling and multi-drug resistance. All activities were closely coordinated with Kazakhstan’s Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) project.
- Sponsored the First National Family Medicine Conference in Almaty, providing a forum for more than 180 participants, including family doctors and health policy makers representing the Ministry of Health (MOH) and all Kazakhstan oblasts, the Kyrgyz Republic, and international organizations to advocate for primary health care principles and patient-centered approaches.
- Helped the Kazakhstan Association of Family Practitioners (KAFP) to improve the quality of Primary Health Care (PHC) throughout Kazakhstan and to promote PHC through KAFP’s 14 branch offices. Increasing use of PHC services is measured by the percent of total outpatient visits to PHC providers; this indicator increased to 61% in FY 2009. The USG also continued to support arterial hypertension (AH) quality improvement work through KAFP’s branches, training nearly 200 doctors on the newly developed AH clinical practice guidelines.
- Contributed to the development of the Kazakhstan Health Code, in partnership with the World Bank, which was approved by Parliament in FY 2009. The Health Code is a step towards harmonizing existing health laws and raising them to international standards. The Code supports the core principles of Kazakhstan’s health-financing reform, such as oblast pooling, single-payer, and provider payment systems. The Code also established a new centralized drug procurement process through a single distributor.
- Supported the MOH and National Maternal and Child Health (NMCH) Centers to roll out implementation of Safe Motherhood (SM) activities nationwide. As of September 2009, four of the 16 oblasts and two major cities – Almaty and Astana – have implemented SM activities. Approximately 80% of health providers in 16 implementing facilities received clinical training courses or clinical mentoring on effective prenatal care (EPC).
- Provided medical training programs on EPC practices and child health to 445 gynecologists, midwives, and neonatologists through a Global Development Alliance with Exxon Mobil. As a result, 12,000 women annually give birth in maternity wards that implement safer practices to keep mothers and infants healthy, and many more mothers and their children receive better services at primary health care facilities.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Funded academic exchanges to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural economics, marketing, and agribusiness management education at agricultural universities and to expand the capacity of these institutions to develop and carry out quality programs. As a result, one past participant co-authored a book on agricultural economics and introduced a new course on the same subject; another participant provided a seminar on “The Experience of Foreign Countries in the Agrarian Sector” and co-authored a book on “Modern Management” which was the basis for a new course entitled “Agricultural Management.”
- Provided 172 U.S. and 18 Kazakhstani business and civil-society representatives the opportunity to develop contacts and exchange information in a number of settings, including official meetings, conferences, technical sessions, and informal events hosted by U.S. organizations. Upon their return home, some Kazakhstani participants established new organizations and other have taken leadership roles in existing organizations. Fifty percent of this year’s participants said that they were members of an association and 25% asserted that they would join or start a new one.
- Trained senior and mid-level Kazakhstani agriculture specialists and administrators from the public and private sectors involved in agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. As a result, some participants have been promoted and have implemented animal health processes that improve efficiency. One participant, a local government official from Pavlodar, attended rural development courses at Mississippi State University and upon his return was promoted to the governor’s office and is now using his experience to implement a slaughter-facility project in Pavlodar Region. Another participant was also promoted upon return and used his training to significantly reduce the processing time for issuance of veterinary certificates.
- Contributed to Kazakhstan’s improved ranking of 63 out of 183 countries in the World Bank’s 2009 Ease of Doing Business annual report from 64 the previous year. U.S. assistance focused on six World Bank indicators, including Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property, Getting Credit, Protecting Investors, and Closing a Business.
- Supported the GOK’s application of international best practices to support small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development and build capacity of private and NGO Business Service Providers (BSPs). Over 100 commercial BSPs received training courses and consulting support; the trained BSPs assisted more than 1,100 SMEs. The USG partnered with Chevron and Baker Hughes to support the provision of a “Know about Business (KAB)” course in vocational schools across the country. By the end of FY 2009, 186 new teachers were certified in KAB and over 357,000 additional students in over 140 vocational institutions were enrolled in KAB course for this academic year.