Brussels, 15 November 2010
EU-Kyrgyzstan development cooperation
The EU is a partner of Kyrgyzstan in achieving its country development goals. Between 1991 and 2010 Kyrgyzstan has received more than €290 million in bilateral grant assistance programmes from the European Commission; mainly in the areas of institutional and administrative strengthening of government structures, food security, and economic development.
Since 1999, bilateral relations between the EU and Kyrgyzstan have been based on a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which sets out the political and economic values of the cooperation.
How much of the EU assistance budget is allocated to Kyrgyzstan?
EU assistance is provided to support the development priorities of the Kyrgyz Government as defined in the Country Development Strategy. Under the first Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) covering the period 2007-2010, an indicative budget of €55 million has been earmarked for Kyrgyzstan for the development of bilateral (national) programmes. The amount has been allocated in support of 9 programmes developed in cooperation with the Kyrgyz Government. Additional funding has been made available through the EU Thematic Programmes
The second MIP for the period 2011-2013 has earmarked an amount of €51 million for bilateral cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. The following priority areas of cooperation have been identified: Social protection reform and income-generating activities; education reform, and judicial reform and rule of law.
The main focus of the assistance strategy is support for poverty reduction, promotion of good governance, greater respect for human rights, and enhanced regional stability.
In which sectors is the EU cooperating with Kyrgyzstan?
The EU has been one of the leading donors in supporting the reform of the social protection system and public finance management in Kyrgyzstan, providing significant financial resources, policy advice and technical assistance over the years.
The “Sector policy support programme (SPSP) in social protection and PFM” (2007-2010) is the biggest on-going cooperation programme supported by the EU with a total of €40 million. At the centrepiece of the programme is the creation of a more efficient and accessible social assistance aimed at the poorest families, as well as a reform of the public finance management.
The EU is also supporting the rehabilitation and building of important community road and water infrastructure to improve living standards and social reintegration of the communities in the poorest and border regions in the south of Kyrgyzstan through two projects:
“Rural Infrastructure Development and Social Reintegration” (€8.6 million, AAP 2009) and “Support to Infrastructural Development in Rural Areas (irrigation)” (€2.5 million, AAP 2008).
Also in order to help local economic growth, the EU is supporting the improvement of agro-processing and agri-business in rural areas through the “Support to economic diversification through improving of the agro-processing sector” project (€1.6 million, AAP 2007).
GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRACY and RULE OF LAW
Improving the living standards of the local population is dependent on the quality of the social services provided by local administrations. The EU finances projects for more than €13 million in the area of good governance, parliamentary and judicial reforms and conflict prevention.
RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS
Following the world food crisis of 2007-2008 and the subsequent global economic slowdown, the EU allocated €14 million for three new programmes to assist the Government in financing the costs associated with interventions required to address the food price crisis. Those programmes were developed under the EU Food Security Thematic Programme and the EU Food Facility.
Examples of EU funded projects in Kyrgyzstan:
Border Management Programme for Central Asia (BOMCA)
To address the challenges and support the development of a harmonized and coordinated border management capacity the European Commission started the BOMCA Programme in 2002. Up to 2010, the Commission has provided more than €25 million to the programme.
BOMCA helps to develop integrated border management through training and exposure to European best practices, as well as enhancing cross-border cooperation to facilitate improved trade and transit of legal goods and persons and to impede all forms of illegal movement of people and commodities through Central Asia and onward to Europe.
Additional components include provision of infrastructure and equipment, modernisation of training facilities, refurbishment of selected border crossing points, as well as advice on legal reforms and institutional frameworks.
Since 2004 to present the BOMCA Programme has:
Constructed, refurbished and equipped 12 border crossing points and 11 border outposts,
Set up 5 training centres for border guards,
Provided 3 dormitories for training centres,
Set up 3 dog training centres and 1 veterinary unit for dog training centres in all five countries.
Trained over 2,000 border force and customs officers
A more effective and better targeted Social Protection system
After independence, the Social Protection systems inherited from the Soviet regime faced a double challenge. Due to increasing poverty, the level of need was increasing, while the resources to meet these needs were shrinking. As a result, the standards of service in many institutions dropped dramatically.
The Commission supported the necessary reforms through the Sector Policy Support Programme in social protection and public finance management.
Social Allocations for families or individuals without resources have been and continue to be progressively re-organised in order to reduce exclusion and inclusion errors, by a better estimation of the incomes of these families. With the recent increase in food prices, the Commission, along with other donors, is providing resources allowing for an increase of these allocations.
A good example of the project is the case of residential institutions for children. Access to such institutions shortly after independence was too easy: a number of emigrants, leaving the country to find work in Russia, used to abandon their children in orphanages. However the state did not have the resources to provide an adequate diet, nor decent services, hence many children would die and most would suffer of malnutrition and insufficient care.
Through the support of the Commission, mortality has been reduced, food and care improved, while at the same time admission has been made much more restrictive. The new policies under development will further reduce the role of such residential institutions by developing social services and day care centres to support families.