The Department for International Development (DFID) is the British ministry responsible for administering the aid budget of the government of the United Kingdom. The DFID Central Asia regional team recently completed a monitoring trip to southern Kyrgyzstan to review Equity - its biggest project in the Kyrgyz Republic. Together with the project’s partners, UNICEF and local authorities, Equity aims to promote peace in southern Kyrgyzstan, with a focus on community level empowerment. Equity achieves this through its contribution to the development of youth centres, hospitals and schools. Moreover, through its support of the local government, this project encourages increased social interaction regardless of ethnic background and economic situation.
For example, DFID supports a day-care centre for disabled children in Ariet, Tash-Bulak municipality. Dozens of children and young people visit this centre daily where they benefit from vital physiotherapy and psychological support. Crucially, centres like the one in Ariet also help disabled children and their parents come together and support each other emotionally, preventing social isolation.
Amongst other sites, the DFID team also visited a kindergarten in Dostuk, Kyzyl-Tuu municipality. This school had been closed for twenty years but thanks to effective collaboration between villagers, the authorities, local organisations and DFID, the school is now a vibrant community hub. Approximately a hundred infants attend the kindergarten where they learn and play. DFID, in partnership with UNICEF, provided support for renovating the building, training teachers and providing pedagogical materials.
We strongly believe that sustainable development can only be achieved through a country-led approach. Indeed, we are confident that municipal financial support for projects like the Dostuk kindergarten or the day-care centre in Ariet will help to ensure their continued success. This project will ultimately yield dynamic communities that are empowered with tools necessary to drive forward the development of education outcomes of their children for generations to come.
Since 1998 DFID has implemented a programme in the Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with the Kyrgyz government and people focusing on political reform, better access to services and increased equality. This year DFID will spend £7 million on these projects as part of a long-term commitment to the sustainable reduction of poverty in Central Asia. Through projects like Equity and the wider portfolio of interventions, DFID and the British Embassy -look forward to deepening the growing relationship between Great Britain and the Kyrgyz Republic.