FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Russia
FY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
The United States seeks a stable, democratic, and reliable partner in Russia in addressing crucial global issues. In support of this goal, the U.S. Government (USG) implemented programs that promoted cooperation with Russia in areas of common interest, and catalyzed Russia to apply its vast resources and human capital to solving domestic and international problems. At the same time, USG engagement continued to focus on promoting human rights, democracy, civil society, and rule of law through support to organizations that encourage the adoption of policies and practices consistent with the responsibilities of a democratic state.
Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $70.15 million*
Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Advanced the goal of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through training to detect and identify unauthorized nuclear materials and weapons for Russian Customs officers in Moscow and in five major regional cities. USG assistance trained 30 employees of RosCosmos and RosAtom. A Russian delegation traveled to New York’s JFK Airport for Air Cargo Interdiction Training. In addition, a USG delegation traveled to Moscow to deliver a new course on Supply Chain Security, introducing the concept to Russia.
- Provided 32 grants for basic and applied scientists with WMD applicable capabilities to engage in civilian research, development and technology commercialization activities through the Moscow-based International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). This work allows researchers in the United States and Russia to share methods and materials that would not be available working independently of each other. Russian partners contributed over $1.3 million.
- Provided equipment for drug detection, communication and information processing to units stationed along the Russian-Kazakh border and to interdiction units in St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and three Caspian and Black Sea seaports. This equipment was used to inspect shipments and vehicles and to coordinate law enforcement activity. U.S. assistance programs also supported criminal justice reform, legal assistance, anticorruption efforts, and training to counter money laundering – all of which are critical to combating drug trafficking, thus complementing the Government of Russia (GOR) investment in anti-narcotics and anti-smuggling programs.
- Helped strengthen Russia’s anti-money laundering capability and their system of combating terrorist financing. Russian banks now report suspicious activity to the GOR’s Financial Intelligence Unit. U.S. programs trained over 1,800 people from over 1,000 institutions, and established strong relations with the Eurasian Group for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG). These joint projects helped disseminate best practices within Russia and the EAG countries.
- Helped the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs develop a partnership with the Russian Internet Service Providers Association to better address online pornography, including the development of an Internet code of conduct for Internet service providers and the creation of an Internet hotline to permit reporting of instances of child sexual exploitation, modeled upon the hotline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
- Trained more than 90 representatives of the law enforcement and legal community on measures against trafficking in persons (TIP) and funded a second edition of its manual on human trafficking, which highlights international best practices in trafficking prevention, and methods for investigating human trafficking and slave labor. USG-supported human trafficking-related training for law enforcement in Southern Russia led to the successful identification, investigation, and prosecution of a TIP case in Nevinomisk.
- Resulted in the passage of legislation criminalizing human trafficking and a steady increase in human trafficking prosecutions, and is encouraging the creation of a national TIP action plan. Other efforts are directed at the establishment of a federal government office to coordinate anti-TIP efforts and to increase the capacity of federal and local officials to investigate and prosecute TIP violations and to care for TIP victims.
- Supported rehabilitation centers for victims in Moscow and in the Far East (Primorsky Krai). Both Russian-national (73) and non-Russian (56) victims received services at the centers, as well as help in voluntarily returning to and reintegrating into their home regions or countries. Thirteen Russian NGOs joined the network of five existing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) established to provide sustainable rehabilitation and professional reintegration assistance to TIP victims and effectively monitor their reintegration process.
- Helped implement the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), which provides for jury trial, exclusion of illegal evidence, habeas corpus, right to counsel, and many other rights of a modern criminal justice system. As a result of U.S.-supported programming, the Duma amended the CPC to require judges to conduct an evidentiary hearing before detaining a defendant pending trial. This change was important, as the threat of pre-trial detention is a principal means of extortion by corrupt law enforcement. According to the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court, pre-trial detention applications granted decreased by roughly 8% in 2009. With U.S. support, the Jurors Association submitted to President Medvedev a series of proposed reforms to the jury trial law-the first time jurors’ input was used for criminal justice reform. In June 2009, the Duma passed a law on cooperating witnesses. Absent such a law, Russian organized crime investigations typically made little progress, and U. S. prosecutors had difficulty using testimony from Russia in U.S. courts. To support implementation of the new law, U.S. assistance helped train 65 prosecutors.
- Promoted tolerance and improved employability among youth in the North Caucasus. USG-supported training events on conflict mitigation for “at-risk” youth reached more than 4,000 young people from across the region. More than 2,100 young people received vocational and life skills trainings, and over 170 youth representing more than 25 ethnicities participated in sport camps and Emerging Leaders Camps.
Governing Justly and Democratically
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Expanded civil advocacy and worked to protect space for civil society and improve legal framework. Contributed to the development of 30 legislative acts, including four federal and 26 sub-national laws and regulations on public finance and fiscal management; trained 1,000 regional and municipal officials on best practices; and provided consultation for seven sub-national governments on fiscal management issues.
- Helped 212 business associations, united in 17 coalitions, to improve their advocacy skills and combat corruption. The coalitions conducted 31 advocacy campaigns and initiated the adoption of 22 regional decrees and amendments to legislation to protect entrepreneurs` rights against arbitrary regulation by various government authorities.
- Supported monitoring of regional elections by domestic organizations, including the deployment of observers in 23 regions, the operation of an open voter hotline, and partial parallel vote tabulation.
- Developed NGO legal and advocacy capacity, providing support for more than 6,000 Russian NGOs and technical assistance to 320 lawyers. These Russian partners were then able to successfully advocate for positive amendments to the Law on NGOs and the Competition Law, and improved laws on municipal and Public Chamber grants.
- Supported efforts by Russian NGOs to link Russian citizens more closely with their government through local and regional advocacy campaigns. U.S.-supported regional NGO resource centers helped introduce public advisory councils, public hearings, advocacy coalitions, and other means of public participation in local government. U.S. assistance funded regional and national campaigns to promote volunteerism and also broadened civic interest and participation in the work of Russian NGOs and charities.
- Engaged youth on issues of health, employment, cultural opportunities and citizenship competencies, including management and social marketing skills, and involved more than 17,000 young people in community action on healthy lifestyles, prevention of risky behavior, rights of the disabled, and support for the elderly.
Investing in People
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Supported dissemination of HIV prevention messages by Russian NGOs and government health and social services providers, reaching 86,000 people. In partnership with local government institutions, provided assistance to improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, reaching 15,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in St. Petersburg and Orenburg. Almost 290,000 people were counseled and tested for HIV and received their results in facilities where USG partners provided technical assistance to Russian organizations. Trained 20,000 doctors, nurses, substance abuse specialists and psychologists in HIV prevention, treatment and care. USG-supported programs catalyzed policy changes at the regional level, such as the allocation of $700,000 in HIV funds in St. Petersburg to support social services for vulnerable populations, including HIV-positive women and children. USG assistance supported health education programs aimed at reducing drugs demand and increasing HIV/AIDS awareness for 15,000 high school students in high-risk areas of the Russian Far East. As a result, the Ministry of Education recommended this modern, proven drug demand reduction curriculum for use in schools nationwide.
- Supported Russia’s tuberculosis (TB) High Level Working Group, which has improved collaboration between various health care services and developed and disseminated new guidelines on infection control. The capacity of laboratory services was strengthened through technical assistance and training. The advanced expertise in TB control was shared with health professionals at the Centers of Excellence on TB and multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. USG-assisted demonstration sites trained 350 specialists, and local TB programs pioneered a new system of reporting and recording, which is harmonized with the national health information system. All nine of the regions supported through USG assistance have now received international Green Light Committee approval for the treatment of MDR TB patients. In four of the regions, the treatment rate in FY 2009 exceeded 80%, while the national average is just 59.5%. TB mortality rates are declining in many of these regions, and outreach efforts are improving treatment adherence.
- Provided technical assistance and training for reproductive health and maternal and child health care providers and administrators from 25 regions. USG-funded initiatives worked closely with a Technical Working Group recently established by the Ministry of Health and Social Development to review and operationalize protocols on key drivers of maternal mortality. USG partners in this area worked to integrate best practices in the new protocols and to institutionalize them at the regional level. Target regions showed decreasing abortion and declining maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. With USG support, new outreach on family planning and reproductive health issues reached 8,000 high-risk women in four regions.
- Provided support to four regional governments to introduce comprehensive child welfare reform. In Khabarovsk, child welfare reforms supported by USG assistance reduced the number of children at risk by 37%. A system of governmental grants for NGOs in child welfare was established, and a 24-hour toll-free children’s helpline was introduced. In partnership with the government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, U.S. partners set up early rehabilitation services for disabled children residing in families and baby-homes in five cities of the region. Over the past year, 782 social workers, teachers, and other specialists, including seven teams of trainers and 32 supervisors in social work, as well as volunteers and home assistants, were trained in early identification of at-risk families, family preservation and reunification, support for foster families and healthy life styles promotion.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Promoted the sustainable management of forest resources through cooperative programs with the Russian Federal Forest Agency that included forest road planning and management, forest management planning, complete use of forest resources, biomass utilization, and fire prevention. USG assistance increased dialogue and technical cooperation between the United States and Russia on natural resource issues such as deforestation and illegal logging, expanded partnerships and projects with regional authorities and NGOs on topics of sustainable forest management, improved regional capacity for protected area and wildlife management, and enhanced the management of resources and biodiversity within protected areas throughout Russia.
- Improved the viability and profitability of the key agriculture and agribusiness industries in the North Caucasus, increasing incomes and contributing to stability and conflict mitigation in the region. The project supported the development of 89 rural credit cooperatives, making more than $42 million worth of microenterprise credit without a single default. In addition, a USG-supported microfinance program helped establish or strengthen over 65 local credit cooperatives and other microfinance communities.