About USAID in Central Asia
USAID works on the behalf of Americans to improve the lives of people throughout the world.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was created by the U.S. Government in 1961 to provide U.S. foreign economic and social assistance. Currently, USAID works in more than 100 countries around the world. USAID promotes peace and stability by fostering economic growth, agriculture, and trade; protecting human health; improving the quality and access to basic education; providing emergency humanitarian assistance; preventing conflicts; and enhancing democracy in developing countries.
USAID began providing assistance to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in 1992. Since that time, the American people through USAID have provided nearly $1.5 billion in programs that assist the development of the economic sector, education and healthcare systems, and democratic institutions in Central Asia.
USAID helps strengthen region’s energy markets, regional trade, small businesses, and agriculture, and supports the implementation of economic reforms, aimed at improving economic growth. USAID assists the countries in responding to the threats of diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, including prevention, treatment, surveillance, and the implementation of grants from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. USAID cooperates with numerous interested local and central government institutions to improve governance, transparency, and enhance citizens’ participation. Community organizations, networks, and individuals receive assistance in their initiatives to improve their communities. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, USAID also assists the Ministries of Education to improve teaching quality, use available education resources more efficiently, and increase community involvement in education.
In each country, USAID operates under a bilateral agreement with the country’s government. USAID programs cooperate with ministries, governmental and non-government organizations, businesses, and communities to improve laws, create jobs, increase incomes, improve services, and better manage available resources.
USAID programs in Central Asia are implemented through contracts and grants by more than 50 local and international organizations, including U.N. agencies, for profit companies, and non-governmental organizations.
USAID Economic Growth Programs Have
- Consulted the Governments of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan on economic reform and privatization and supported the drafting or revising of a number of laws, such as a new tax code for Kyrgyzstan.
- Assisted in building a legal/regulatory foundation for private sector banks and capital market institutions; establish private-sector institutions; and develop the governmental supervisory bodies for the financial sector in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
- Helped building a legal/regulatory strengthen the National Bank operations in all five countries, providing assistance in bank supervision and monetary formulation.
- Supported the development of a securities market and pension system reform in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
- Helped government officials and business across the region develop a better understanding of World Trade Organization(WTO) accession issues and foreign trade legislation in compliance with WTO.
- Led to th 1998 Framework Agreement between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan of the use of water and energy resources for the Syr Darya water basin.
- Resulted in improved water resource allocation, water use efficiency, and regional information sharing through technical assistance and equipment
- Demonstrated energy efficiency and improved irrigation through pilot projects
- Helped avoid or minimize economic loss through improved weather forecasting capabilities in the region
- Facilitated over 21% increase in sales and 9% increase in productivity for more than 1,700 local firms through advisory services
- Assisted nearly 800 trade deals for a total volume of over $110 million for the region's businesses through provided access toan internet based marketplace to link buyers and sellers in Central Asia and beyond, professional trade advice on such trade related issues as customs procedures, contracts, freight of goods, and industry or market research.
- Helped establish the Certified International Professional Accountant (CIPA) Program, which has trained over 5,000 Certified Accountant Practitioners across the fivle countries in support of the adoption and implementation of market economy enterprise accounting in order to foster economic growth and integration. Helped Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan adopt International Accounting Standards.
- Extended $520 million in loans to more than 166,000 region's entrepreneurs.
- Helped increase production of crops and farm incomes for estimated 400,000 beneficiaries through direct assistance to about 80 water users associaions. USAID provided grants to renovate irrigation infrastructure, trained association members in water resource management and agricultural techniques, helped organized irrigated water distribution in a more transparent and fair way.
- Provided extensive assistance in tackling trade and investment constrains in the region.
USAID Health Care Programs Have
- Designed national health reform plans in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- Helped increase TB treatment rates in Central Asia. The current range of treatment success in the region is from 73% (Uzbekistan) to 85.3% (Tajikistan). Additionally, in Kazakhstan, TB death decreased by 46% from 1998-2005.
- Led four countries in Central Asia to adopt elped increase for national use the WHO-recommended Live Birth Criteria, paving the way for redubtion in infant morbidity and mortality. To date, as a result of activities to introduce the new criteria, 221 infants have lived who otherwise would have been abandoned as dead.
- Supported the use of WHO-recommended perinatal strategies by providing clinical training to health workers, replication, institutionalization, and sustainability of maternal and child health activities.
- Helped decrease malaria cases in the region by 84% from 200-2005.
- Assisted governments in the region to obtain $51 million in additional funding for infectious disease control through grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Increased access to quality health care, establishing training facilities that have improved the skills of ove 10,000 clinicians in family and general practice.
- Helped more than 150,000 of Central Asia's youth to learn about drug reduction and HIV prevention, thus counteracting the rick of youth to begin using drugs and get infected with HIV. The program has reached over 70% of the youth aged 15-25 living in the 7 target sites in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan.
- Helped establish a Training Center for the prevention of HIV transmission from mother-to-child and developed a training package to serve as a resource as the program is rolled out through the Central Asian region. Currently, 71 women-infant pairs are being monitored in the pilot sites.
- Helped thousands of women in the Central Asian Republics avoid abortion by providing training and much-needed contraceptives to health system. Surveys in Kazakhstan indicated a 22% decline in the total abortino rate from 1995-1999.
- Provided laboratory equipment, training and technical assistance to establish evelen HIV sentinel surveillance sites, which generated the first scientifically valid data on the course of the epidemic.
- Advanced knowledge of health and demographic issues in the region through six demographic and health surveys.
- Provided grants to hundreds of communities to address priority health concerns like health life style, nutrition, sanitation, women, women's and children's health, disability, and access to rehabilitated clinics adn clean water.
USAID Education Programs Have
- Trained more than 4,000 teachers in modern teaching methods and 1,500 school admininistrators in effective management in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- Renovated over 100 schools and developed 200 school/community councils in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to improve school attendance.
- Improved learning environment for approximately 255,000 children through strengthened school management and introduction of modern interactive teaching, focused on students.
- Introduced new, more efficient mechanisms of education financing.
- Helped design and introduce the Kyrgyzstan National Schoarship Test in 2003, which annually provide over 35,000 high school students across the country a fair and transparent way to compete for an opportunity toreceive university education and government-funded university scholarships.
- Established the Regional Education Network Association (REGENA) as a tool to assist region's univeristies with advocacy, networking and professional development, REGENA currently has 23 active members-universities.
- Created credit hour pilot programs at four key universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to serve as models and assist other universities in the region to advance towards international education standards. In part to this assistance, Tajikistan has made a decision to convert all 39 universities to a U.S. based credit hour system.
- Trained hundreds of university professors throughout the region in modern business and economics education.
- Established the Central Asian Scholarship Program (CASP) to support education opportunities for capable and motivated students who seek business, economic, and other degrees in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The program has already awarded its first scholarships to 196 students. Recipients were selected through a competitive process from different universities in the region.
- Provided business education to nearly one million high school students in the five Central Asia's countries through financial support for Junior Achievement programs.
USAID Democracy Programs Have
- Provided civil education to more than 130,000 students in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to increase youth civic activism. Thousands of schools in these countries teach civil education for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades from textbooks, developed with USAID support. Many of these classes are taught by educators, trained through USAID programs.
- Completed over 1,800 infrastructural and social projects benefiting nearly three million residents in economically vulnerable communities across the region.
- Trained more than 72,000 people about the dangers of human trafficking across the five Central Asia's countries in recnet years.
- Trained more than 50,000 people of the region's professionals, including government officials, NGO leaders, businesspeople, and technical experts in their areas of expertise through training programs designed specifically for the participants's needs and combining classroom instruction with professional meetings, on-site observation, and action planning.
- Through Eurasia Foundation provided more than $10 million through small grants and technical assistance to develop private enterprise, public policy, and civil society in Central Asia.
- Assisted the development of media in the region through trainings and seminars for print media, TV, and radio journalists and managers; supported development and production of informational programs through grants to media outlets.
- Supported the judicial system in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan by helping develop independent modern judicial bodies, legal education, facilitating professional training, helping improve public awareness about courts work, also by strengthening court transparency and court-media relationships. In Tajikistan, helped develop the country's first comprehensive legal database.
- Trough grants targeting youth, elderly, professional associations, and disabled groups, USAID helped NGOs to address self-identified community needs, while atthe same time strengthening their organizational capacity.
- Suppported elections process in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajiksitan through non-partisan political party training, work with NGOs on civic advocacy, media training, and NGO "get-out-the vote" initiatives, aimed at increasing their fairness and transparency.
- Facilitated decentralization and the establishment of more accountable local government in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as well as the housing reform in Uzbekistan.
- Helped strengthen region's non-governmental and community organizations by extending training, resources, and expert advice through networks of civic society support centers. Assisted in the development of legal and fiscal framework for the NGO sector in Tajiksitan and Kyrgyzstan, and facilitated citizens' participation in the development of new laws.
USAID Humanitarian Assistance Programs Have
- Provided extensive assistance to Tajikistan to help country deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by the 1992 civil war. From 1994-1997 approximately 500,000 people were provided with food, 40,000 with the access to potable water, and more than 62,000 had their houses reguilt by USAID programs. Additionally, over 140,000 families benefited through the rehabilitation of schools, clinics, water systems, irrigation channels, housing and power stations through USAID-funded UNOPS projects.
- Extended support to victims of natural disasters across the region. For example, in Tajikistan, USAID recently supplied households affected to two significant natural disasters in the Rasht Valley with 50 kg of lentils per family and vegetable seeds for planting.
- Delivered humanitarian shipments of food to Uzbekistan's orphanages. TB hospitals, retirement homes, mental institutions and prisons. The most recent shipment in May 2007 consisted of 75 metric tons of fortified dehydrated soup, providing 20,000 people in 10 regions of Uzbekistan with six months worth of nutritious meals.
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