FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Kazakhstan

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Performance Report Highlights: Kazakhstan

FY 2010 Foreign Assistance Goals

U. S. Government (USG) assistance to Kazakhstan in FY 2010 focused on key challenges; including mitigating the effects of the global financial crisis; addressing illegal trafficking in people, narcotics and weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD)-related materiel; and combating the spread of infectious disease. In addition, USG assistance provided support to civil society, helped reform the judicial sector, and provided opportunities for professional exchanges. USG assistance to Kazakhstan reflects the United States’ continued commitment to partner with Kazakhstan as it strives to realize its potential as a regional leader.

Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $22.72 million*

Date: 2011 Description: Kazakhstan -- Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance:  $22.72 million. - State Dept Image

(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2010, not including Peace Corps funding and centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries.)

Highlights of FY 2010 Performance by Area of Focus

Peace and Security

-- The USG procured inspection and detection equipment for the Kazakhstani Customs and Border Guard services, which included x-ray machines, CT-30 Contraband Detection Kits, and radiation pagers. The USG also procured portable shelter complexes for the border guards, to be installed on the country’s southern border. The USG continued to monitor the rapidly changing implementation of the Customs Union among Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia in July 2010 which could have a significant impact on previous and future assistance in border management. Kazakhstan’s economic situation and the recent establishment of the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus could make the country attractive for trade in illicit goods.

-- The Government of Kazakhstan (GOK) directly supported NATO and U.S. contingency operations in Afghanistan with overflight access and materiel shipment access for Coalition operations. USG security support played a key role in developing the Ministry of Defense’s (MOD) capacity to form a NATO-interoperable peacekeeping brigade (KAZBRIG). Engineering elements of KAZBRIG participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2008. However, KAZBRIG forces did not participate, and are not currently scheduled to participate in any NATO, United Nations, or Coalition operations in 2009 and 2010.

-- USG security assistance has allowed the GOK to acquire and refurbish helicopters to enhance a tactical airlift, air reconnaissance, and interdiction capability for a developing Caspian Rapid-Reaction Force. This force will enhance security for Kazakh energy infrastructure and mutual U.S.-Kazakh commercial interests in the Caspian Sea region.

-- USG training helped the GOK’s Customs Service Canine (K9) Training Center to develop recommended methods of selecting, raising and educating future service dogs. The Center reported that through November 2010, it had seized nearly six tons of narcotics, 2.4 tons more than in the same period in 2009. The Center credited the increased amount seized to Austrian canine training methods. Together with the European Union’s (EU) Program on Border Management in Central Asia, the USG sponsored an International K9 Competition for trainers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Russia. The competition, won by the team from Kazakhstan, helped develop professional relationships between canine services of the participating countries and proved a popular performance incentive for the trainers.

-- The USG trained over 850 community police officers in methods to identify and address trafficking in persons (TIP). Some have already reported TIP identifications as a result of their USG-sponsored training. The USG also trained 145 judges, 142 prosecutors, 60 migration officers, and 18 criminal police officers at regular refresher training courses. A judge who participated in one event subsequently learned of a trafficking victim and worked with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to secure his release from a third country to which he had been trafficked.

Governing Justly and Democratically

-- USG assistance trained political parties on the importance of activism, grassroots organization and the role of political parties. During the training, participants from political parties, civil society and local authorities worked together to develop concrete plans to solve issues in their community.

-- Regional political party training programs also focused on formulating party messages that resonated with the public and developing effective communications strategies to deliver their message to voters. These single-party message development and communications training events dramatically increased the number of individuals and political parties using social networking sites, text messaging, email listservs, blogs and video sharing sites. Over 450 people in 18 regions participated in political party training.

-- The USG helped carry out a national public opinion poll, which was then followed by nine polling workshops throughout the country. With assistance, political parties began to use the results of polls to adjust their party platforms and messages to better respond to constituent concerns.

-- When the Kazakhstan Parliament attempted to adopt a Law on Lobbying that contained substantial weaknesses and contradicted some democratic principles, USG-supported partners working on civil-society issues were instrumental in raising awareness and organizing discussions of this draft law, which would have greatly restricted access to information. As a result of this advocacy campaign, the Parliament returned the draft law to the GOK for reconsideration.

-- USG assistance promoted civic participation and political activism at the local level through the formation of citizen initiative groups (CIGs) to address issues in collaboration with local governments. For example, CIGs published a newspaper on local governance issues, set up a home-based afterschool program for grade-school students, opened a legal resource center to advise condominium owners on property rights and self-governance, opened a women’s crisis center for single, unemployed, and disabled women, and successfully carried out a campaign to improve public bus service.

-- U.S. assistance continued to support access to information through the production and airing of social, political and documentary programming through a regional satellite broadcasting program and partnerships with 20 Kazakhstani-based television (TV) stations. As a part of this program, six production grants were provided to Kazakhstani TV stations that, in turn, produced TV programs on such topics as gender equality, economic growth, disability issues and ecology. Other productions included a weekly youth technology show, “The M@trix,” and a weekly feature magazine, “Open Asia.” These programs provided unique coverage of the Kyrgyz events of 2010 and exposed Kazakhstan’s TV audience to the events of neighboring countries, particularly in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, during the 40-day border closure.

Investing in People

-- In spring 2010, Central Asia experienced the largest polio outbreak in the world in recent years. The USG collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health to support operational costs, management and organization, training of health-care workers, communication/social mobilization, and monitoring and supervision of two rounds of polio immunization campaigns. In the first round of immunizations in Kazakhstan, 98.8% of all children were immunized, and as a result, no confirmed cases of polio were reported in Kazakhstan.

-- USG assistance provided direct outreach to populations at risk for contracting tuberculosis (TB), including drug users, prisoners, people living with HIV/AIDS and migrants. Over 2,100 individuals at risk of contracting TB were reached through outreach, and 100 received TB testing services as a result of the program’s interventions.

Economic Growth

-- Under a unique arrangement with the USG, the GOK co-funds a large share of the USG implemented economic growth program in Kazakhstan.

-- The USG strengthened the capacity of the Karaganda Regional Public-Private Partnership Center (KRPPPC) to implement PPP infrastructure and facilities projects, providing assistance to the KRPPC in its effort to build 15 kindergartens in Karaganda and Temirtau as part of a pilot PPP program. Successful implementation of PPPs will provide for a new source of investment capital for required essential infrastructure projects (such as schools, national roads, public housing, renewable energy and water supply projects), reduce the level of government borrowing and debt, expand the private sector, stimulate job growth and most importantly, increase the quality of services delivered to Kazakhstan’s citizens.

-- In FY 2010 as part of a professional fellowship exchange project, a USG-sponsored fellow worked to establish an Association of Livestock Breeders for trade promotion and sharing of advanced livestock technologies. The fellow also helped to inform the Rules of Animal Handling adopted by the Almaty City Council. Another fellow was promoted to Head of the Division of Livestock Breeding at the Ministry of Agriculture, where he has implemented a number of innovations including the creation of a cattle breeding capacity database that meets international standards.

-- In 2010, Kazakhstan moved up 15 places in the rankings on the World Bank’s Doing Business index—to 59 among 183 economies. The indicators for which Kazakhstan was recognized included starting a business, dealing with construction permits, protecting investors, and trading across borders -- all areas that are being addressed by USG assistance.

-- The USG continued its program to train teachers in every oblast, as well in Almaty and Astana, to provide the International Labor Organization (ILO) “Know About Business” (KAB) entrepreneurship course in vocational institutions. With USG assistance, vocational school teachers from across Kazakhstan were certified by the ILO; a cumulative total of 482 vocational schools in Kazakhstan now have at least one KAB-certified teacher. These teachers will teach the KAB course to an estimated 112,000 students in 517 vocational institutions; a total of 33 KAB teachers have been trained and certified to train teachers in KAB.