Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
February 17, 2004
U.S. Assistance to Kazakhstan - Fiscal Year 2003
The Kazakhstan assistance program has a strong focus on security programs to support Kazakhstan as a partner in the war on terrorism, a market reform program that is shifting its focus from policy reforms toward strengthening the middle class, and democracy programs to help improve citizen participation and transparency.
In Fiscal Year 2003, the $92 million budgeted by all U.S. Government agencies for assistance programs in Kazakhstan is allocated roughly as follows:
Democracy programs in Kazakhstan support independent media, strengthening civil society and public advocacy, and improving political processes and government institutions. USG assistance provides training to non-governmental media outlets to improve the quality of their products, build financial sustainability and offer media production funds for independent stations to produce programming in the Kazakh language. Funding also supports political party assistance, work with locally elected councils, human rights organizations, and anti-trafficking in persons programs. The U.S.-Government funded judicial training center in Almaty trains judges on civil and criminal issues. Small grant-making programs work with indigenous NGOs to promote civil society, human rights, private enterprise development, local government accountability, freedom of speech, independent media, and other initiatives to advance democracy in Kazakhstan.
Training and exchange programs reach out to the next generation of Kazakhstani leaders and give them first-hand experience with the day-to-day functioning of a market-based, democratic system. Last year, the U.S. Government sent nearly 440 Kazakhstani citizens to the United States on academic and professional exchange programs in fields ranging from management to social service provision to NGO development. Since 1993, the U.S. Government has funded the travel of nearly 4,500 Kazakhstani citizens to the United States on these programs. Increased funding for the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program will bring some 95 students from Kazakhstan to live with U.S. host families and attend U.S. high schools this year. The U.S. Government also promotes access to information through programs like the Internet Access and Training program, which supports 16 public access sites in 13 cities throughout Kazakhstan.
Social sector development is advanced through the USAID Community Action Investment Program (CAIP), initiated in FY 2002, to mitigate conflict in conflict prone areas, mainly focused on southern Kazakhstan near the Uzbekistan border. CAIP aims to improve social conditions by mobilizing communities to solve local issues through involvement in small scale, relatively labor intensive community infrastructure projects such as school and health clinic rehabilitation. The quality primary health care program is implementing fundamental systemic changes to create a higher quality, user-friendly, more cost-effective primary healthcare system in select oblasts. The U.S. Government is expanding training for doctors and nurses on prevention and treatment of the major causes of infant and child mortality. The infectious diseases program is addressing the spread and treatment of TB and HIV/AIDS.
Private sector and economic restructuring programs focus on diversifying Kazakhstan’s economy and strengthening the competitiveness of the private sector. The program supports trade and investment, business and economic development and removal of investment constraints, economics and business education, and micro-enterprise development. USG programs also support customs reform, fiscal and banking reform, pension reform, mortgage industry development, accounting reform, small and medium enterprises training and advisory services. In FY 2003, U.S. Trade and Development Agency supported a definitional mission in Kazakhstan to evaluate petrochemical projects. Assistance to improve natural resources management facilitates regional cooperation on water and increasing access to information, knowledge, and skills needed to better manage water and energy resources. Energy sector programs focus on demonstrating best environmental practices in the development of oil and gas, as well as reform of environmental regulations to create incentives for adherence to international standards.
Security programs for Kazakhstan include funding from the FSA and Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Activities (NADR) accounts. These funds support nonproliferation programs to redirect former Soviet weapons of mass destruction scientists toward peaceful, civilian research and provide equipment, training, and services. The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program aims to enhance the capabilities of Kazakhstan’s Border Guards and Customs agencies. Increased training and equipment assistance focuses on stopping weapons and drug trafficking across Kazakhstan. In addition, the U.S. is providing Kazakhstan Anti-Terrorism Training Assistance.
The Foreign Military Financing program assists in the development of Kazakhstan’s first military base and training center near the strategically vital, oil-rich northern Caspian Sea. The International Military Education and Training program funds efforts to promote interoperability. The Export Control and Related Border Security program provides assistance for communications gear, uniforms, x-ray machines, vehicles, and training for Customs and Border Guards. Major activities also include Departments of Defense and Energy projects to combat the threat of weapons of mass destruction and improve nuclear safety. The Department of Energy provides funds to help with the decommissioned Aktau nuclear facility and other nuclear safety issues. Through a variety of programs, the State Department provides over $5.5 million for worthy research proposals from former weapons and other scientists to help bring them into the mainstream scientific community.
Through the Anti-Crime Training Assistance (ACTTA) program, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) assists the Kazakh Prosecutor General’s office to improve bilateral enforcement cooperation, exchange information, and fight against terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and organized crime.
The Department of State’s Humanitarian Transport Program is the sole provider of U.S. Government humanitarian assistance to Kazakhstan. Thus far in FY 2003, the Department of State has delivered $7.25 million in donated humanitarian medical and relief commodities to needy populations throughout Kazakhstan.
Eighty-one Peace Corps volunteers are engaged in a variety of cross-cultural exchanges with Kazakhstanis. Peace Corps volunteers in Kazakhstan work in education and NGO development.