The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved $30 million for the Strengthening Social Assistance and Labor Market Programs Project. The objectives of this project are to help the country mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on poor households and migrant workers and to strengthen the efficiency and resilience of social assistance and market program delivery systems. labor in order to be better prepared for future shocks.
“High overall inflation and even higher food inflation, due to global crises, are likely to pose serious challenges to the Kyrgyz economy. The new project will directly support the priority task of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic to improve the financial situation of socially vulnerable groups and the employment of citizens, while helping to strengthen the social protection system,” said Naveed Hassan Naqvi, World Bank Country Director for the Kyrgyz Republic.
The project aims to protect vulnerable populations through cash transfers and support measures. It will also promote economic opportunities through access to productive inclusion initiatives and employment opportunities.
The project revolves around three main axes:
i) Provide emergency assistance and enhance the effectiveness of the main anti-poverty program Uy bulogo komok (UBK) for families with children. The effectiveness of the UBK program will be enhanced through the development, piloting and evaluation of improved eligibility criteria and beneficiary selection methodology for the UBK program to reduce exclusion and inclusion errors.
(ii) Increase the employability of vulnerable groups, including migrant workers, by assisting the following groups: (a) UBK beneficiaries to move from social assistance to work and employment opportunities; (b) vulnerable youth and women to (re)enter the labor market; and (c) returning and potential migrant workers to better identify their needs, capacities and aspirations and facilitate tailored support. The project will finance activities aimed at improving the skills and employability of these groups of workers and strengthening links with the private sector to engage them in employment and income-generating activities.
(iii) Strengthen social protection delivery systems by funding a smooth and secure technical implementation of the new IT architecture and establishing electronic data exchanges to strengthen delivery systems at the local level.
Financing for the Strengthening Social Assistance and Labor Market Programs Project will be provided on highly concessional terms through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank‘s concessional credit window for developing countries. The project will be implemented during the period 2022-2025 by the Ministry of Labour, Social Development and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic in accordance with the relevant procedures and standards of the World Bank, including regulations on procurement and financial management and anti-corruption guidelines.
The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty and promote economic growth and shared prosperity. The Bank’s financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to $2.3 billion in the form of grants and highly concessional credits.