Economy

World Bank to Help Kyrgyz Republic Improve Efficiency and Quality of its Heat Supply
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World Bank to Help Kyrgyz Republic Improve Efficiency and Quality of its Heat Supply

More than 200,000 people in the Kyrgyz Republic will benefit from the improved efficiency and quality of heating during cold winter months, thanks to the Heat Supply Improvement Project, approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The project will be financed by the combination of a US $23 million credit and a US $23 million grant.

Op-Ed: Dream Bigger: Building the Middle-Class in Central Asia
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Op-Ed: Dream Bigger: Building the Middle-Class in Central Asia

In Kazakhstan, extreme poverty has been virtually eradicated, while the middle-class has grown to around 20% of the population. The Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan have managed to halve their rates of poverty over the past decade and are continuing to make progress. In Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, poverty is now mostly a rural phenomenon. These hard-earned success stories are a testament to what can be accomplished when the benefits of economic growth are shared more broadly across society.

Op-ed: The Risk of Reform in Uzbekistan
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Op-ed: The Risk of Reform in Uzbekistan

worldview.stratfor.com: The countries of Central Asia are not known for rapid change or substantial reform, but Uzbekistan is experiencing both. Until his sudden death from a brain aneurism in 2016, Uzbekistan had been ruled through a centralized government headed by Islam Karimov, president since the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Under Karimov, Uzbekistan was highly isolationist, eschewing strategic alignments with foreign powers and engaging in bitter disputes with its Central Asian neighbors over border demarcation and water rights. A pervasive security apparatus controlled the country domestically, while the economic and monetary systems were tightly regulated and largely closed to foreign investment.