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Office of the Spokesman
September 24, 2002
The U.S.-Kyrgyzstan Developing Partnership
Released on September 24, 2002
In Fiscal Year 2002, the U.S. Government is providing $50 million in assistance programs, plus an additional $42 million in new supplemental funding. Our primary areas of cooperation include security assistance, market reform, democracy, humanitarian assistance, education, health reform, and natural resources management. New programs include:
- On August 27, the U.S. Customs Service awarded a $3.3 million contract for two fully refurbished Mi-8 helicopters to be provided to Kyrgyzstan under the Export Control and Border Security Program - Aviation Interdiction Project. This program reflects the high priority that we have placed on helping Kyrgyzstan better control its borders.
- Pending Congressional approval, the U.S. government will provide $500,000 in assistance for environmental protection to prevent radiation contamination in Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk Kul, one of the largest fresh-water lakes in the world. The project is designed to eliminate the threat of leftover radioactive material from nearby uranium mining and processing and to develop an indigenous Kyrgyz capability to address other acute radioactive threats to natural resources in the country.
- The U.S. has been an active supporter of education activities in Kyrgyzstan. Pending congressional approval, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will begin a comprehensive new $18 million program designed to complement and support education reform efforts in Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries.
- USAID will also work with the Kyrgyz government to extend the independent national testing program, which seeks to address the root causes of corruption and promote educational reform by providing a greater number of rural and disenfranchised students with merit-based access to higher education.
- Subject to congressional approval, the U.S., in conjunction with the Open Society Institute, is establishing a $15 million endowment for the American University in Kyrgyzstan to assist its long-term financial sustainability. Since its inception in 1997, the American University of Kyrgyzstan has earned a reputation for administrative integrity, freedom of expression, and academic merit in the region.
Customs and drug control:
- After providing $250,000 in FY 2001 to set up a model customs post in Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. is currently performing a professional, comprehensive assessment of Kyrgyzstan's law enforcement needs and capabilities as the basis for providing additional assistance. The U.S. is also consulting with the UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention on the possibility of creating a Kyrgyz counter-narcotics agency.
Technology and economic development:
- The U.S. Trade and Development Agency will fund a $250,000 feasibility study on the development of an electronic government (e-government) program. The government of Kyrgyzstan is interested in using e-government as a way to deliver services in a more efficient manner, using up-to-date technology and interactive internet-based operations.