Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
August 17, 2005
U.S. Assistance to Kazakhstan -- Fiscal Year 2005
The Kazakhstan assistance program seeks to diversify Kazakhstan’s economic growth, both geographically and industrially, and prepare for upcoming presidential elections. A broad range of security and law enforcement programs supports Kazakhstan’s partnership in the Global War on Terrorism and improves its abilities to fight narcotics trafficking and protect its borders. The energy and water program supports the development of regional energy markets and water-sharing. In addition, U.S. assistance efforts support health reform and promote primary health care, maternal and child health care, health partnerships, and the reduction of infectious diseases rates.
In Fiscal Year 2005, the estimated $53.2 million budgeted by all U.S. Government agencies for assistance programs in Kazakhstan is allocated roughly as follows based on information available as of the date of this fact sheet:
Democracy programs in Kazakhstan support efforts to strengthen civil society, foster human rights, improve political processes and government institutions, and encourage independent media and public advocacy. U.S. Government assistance provides non-governmental media outlets with production grants and business management training, promotes an enabling environment for free media, and supports local advocacy efforts for freedom of speech. In addition, media production funds offered to independent stations provide resources for Kazakh-language programming. Democracy assistance also supports the development of human rights institutions and anti-trafficking in persons programs. The U.S. Government-funded judicial training center in Almaty trains judges on civil and criminal procedures. Legal education activities improve training for law students through moot courts and street law programs. Small grant programs provide indigenous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with resources to promote civil society, human rights, youth leadership and development, local government accountability, freedom of speech, independent media, and the advancement of democracy.
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 some 320 Kazakhstani citizens to the United States on a wide array of academic and professional exchange and training programs. Since 1993, the U.S. Government has funded the travel of over 4,877 Kazakhstani citizens to the United States through these programs.
Social sector development is advanced through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Community Action Investment Program (CAIP), which aims to empower citizens and encourage community development in southern Kazakhstan near the Uzbekistan border. CAIP mobilizes communities to solve local issues through involvement in small-scale infrastructure projects such as school and health clinic rehabilitation. Additionally, through USAID’s Quality Primary Health Care Program, select oblasts are making fundamental systemic changes by creating higher quality, patient-oriented, and cost-effective primary healthcare systems. The U.S. Government also provides training for doctors and nurses to improve the quality of primary health car,e as well as maternal and child health care. Infectious diseases programs are fighting tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Government also supports a health partnership program to train high quality medical and nursing graduates to meet the health care needs of the population.
Market reform programsfocus on diversifying Kazakhstan’s economy in poorer regions and strengthening the competitiveness of the private sector. The program supports trade and investment, an improved business climate, and micro-enterprise development. USAID programs also support WTO accession, mortgage industry development, and small and medium enterprise training and advisory services. Additionally, U.S. Government funds assist efforts to reform systems and procedures for customs, the fiscal and banking sector, pensions, land allocation, and accounting. In 2004 the innovative U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Development Partnership created a new bilateral relationship whereby the Government of Kazakhstan will assume an increasing share of the cost of market reform projects. Cost-sharing is scheduled to begin in FY 2006.
U.S. Government assistance improves natural resource management by facilitating regional cooperation on trans-boundary water issues. Energy sector programs focus on commercializing the markets and helping the Government of Kazakhstan to promote regional energy trading based on international standards. The recently initiated Development Credit Authority program provides partially guaranteed loans to private firms to implement energy saving measures.
Shifting focus away from nuclear dismantlement activities, security assistance aims to secure civilian nuclear material, safeguard dangerous pathogens and expertise, and help Kazakhstan control its expansive borders and pipelines. The program to secure and safeguard the spent fuel from Kazakhstan's plutonium breeder reactor at Aktau is on schedule for completion in 2010. The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program will continue working with Kazakhstani officials to improve their prevention capabilities against weapons proliferation and other illicit trafficking. The U.S. Government, through the Department of State and Department of Defense, provides nonproliferation assistance for Kazakhstan to secure biological pathogens and conduct peaceful joint research and disease surveillance activities with biological and chemical scientists. The U.S. Government funds Science Centers, Bio-Chem Redirect, and BioIndustry Initiative programs, and works through the multilateral International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow to engage scientists from the former Soviet Union in transparent, sustainable, and cooperative civilian research projects. The U.S. also provides nonproliferation assistance to Kazakhstan by funding projects through the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education & Training provide NATO and Coalition interoperable equipment and training to the Ministry of Defense in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Law enforcement programs provide assistance to combat money laundering, narcotics smuggling, and trafficking in persons. U.S. assistance also seeks to improve border security and reform law enforcement practices. In addition, U.S. Government assistance provides for training programs in Kazakhstani law enforcement and security agencies to improve counter-terrorist capabilities and build professional expertise in basic investigatory techniques, forensic analysis, and crime statistics collection and analysis.
Additionally, approximately 120 Peace Corps volunteers in Kazakhstan work in education and NGO development.