BISHKEK, July 27, 2010 — The High Level Donors Meeting for the Kyrgyz Republic was held in Bishkek, bringing together representatives of the Kyrgyz Government, civil society, private sector, international development agencies, and bilateral donors to pledge US$ 1.1 billion in emergency response for the country, and to determine the role each partner can play in support of the country’s reconciliation and recovery.
The High Level Donors Meeting was organized by the Kyrgyz Government with the help of the World Bank and other donors, and was co-chaired by Amangeldy Muraliev, First Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Theodore Ahlers, World Bank Director for Strategy and Operations. Roza Otunbaeva, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, participated in the Meeting. The event was attended by representatives of 14 countries and 15 international organizations.
“The High Level Donors Meeting for the Kyrgyz Republic commenced in difficult times,” said Roza Otunbaeva, President of the Kyrgyz Republic. “Stability remains an issue in some parts of the country, and many citizens are concerned with issues of security and preparation for the winter period, while some of them have no roof over their heads. Our foremost priority is peace building and social reconciliation after the tragic events in the country. It is only with peace and stability that the Kyrgyz Republic can return to a path of social and economic growth, and it in this spirit that we reach out for support to our friends and allies from many countries and international organizations.”
The President assured the participants that there will be tight control over the use of the internal resources and donor aid. The new political course of the country aims to ensure that every som will be used for the reconstruction needs in a responsible and transparent manner. “The new Constitution adopted in the July referendum has greatly strengthened legal barriers to corruption, and will help to destroy the schemes of grand larceny of people’s money that were devised by the previous regimes,” Otunbaeva said.
In addition to severe social damage, including up to 375,000 people displaced, with 75,000 still displaced at this time, the events of June 2010 brought about critical destruction of housing by arson in the South and damage to physical infrastructure, as well as a weakening of private sector confidence, a contraction of the liquidity in the banking system, and massive stress on public finances. The economy is projected to shrink by 3.5 percent in 2010; and output per capita in 2010 is expected to fall from the pre-crisis projection of US$943 to US$826.
The donors expressed their sympathy with the people of the Kyrgyz Republic, especially with the families whose members perished or were injured. The donors recognized the burden of the continued social tension on the Kyrgyz Republic’s society and the implications for the Central Asia region. They noted the vital importance of a rapid and sustained recovery from the effects of the tragedy. The international community appreciated the Government’s efforts to promote social peace and political stability – essential pre-conditions for growth and a lasting drop in poverty.
“The world has come to the Kyrgyz Republic’s aid in an impressive demonstration of speed and resolve,” said Theodore Ahlers, World Bank Director for Strategy and Operation and Co-Chair of the Donor Meeting. “There is a good understanding among the donors of the daunting immediate tasks facing the Government − finding the resources to pay for essential public spending, beginning social reconciliation, bringing livelihoods back to the internally displaced, and repairing housing and public infrastructure.”
“We are encouraged by the efforts of the new authorities to raise standards in public life, improve accountability, strengthen oversight over public spending, and manage public assets in a transparent way,” said Ahlers on behalf of the international community.
The ‘United Nations Flash Appeal’ and the ‘Joint Economic Assessment’ prepared by the international financial institutions with the Government’s help established the basis for international assistance for the Kyrgyz Republic. The donors have today pledged a total amount of US$ 1.1 billion for the next 30 months for the Kyrgyz Republic; and of this amount about US$ 600 million is earmarked for the remaining months of 2010. The assistance will focus on three main areas:
- Support to essential public expenditures and services. Donors will help by providing resources for the budget to support salaries of teachers, doctors, and other budget-funded workers, and for payments for fuel oil and mazut. Funds are also provided for quick public works to help generate employment throughout the country.
- Support to social needs. The resettlement of the internally displaced, and the needs associated with other affected populations, has put an unsustainable burden on fiscal resources. Through support for housing, livelihoods, social protection, and other social programs, donors will make an important contribution to the economic and social recovery.
- Support to critical investments. The needs associated with destroyed private, commercial, and public buildings are closely tied with recovery prospects. Moreover, financing critical needs in essential infrastructure, energy, and transport will make a large contribution to reconciliation and peace building. Donor financing for such investments remains essential as a bridge to the period when the private sector resumes investing. Such financing would also help to enhance the economic security of the country by strengthening energy and transport.
“The resolve that we hear in the Government’s statements; the determination to achieve tangible improvement in the lives of ordinary people; the engagement to build a democratic and equitable system that realizes Kyrgyzstan’s full potential—these commitments hold great promise. They also put the onus on the international community to be nimble and focused in our response. Timely assistance delivered efficiently can make a real difference” – said Kori Udovicki, UN Assistant Secretary General Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS.
The High Level Donors Meeting provided an opportunity for an open and constructive dialogue between the new authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic and the international community, with participants committing themselves to a concrete set of actions.