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U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia   -FY 2005
Released by the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
January 2006

II. Country Assessments and Performance Measures - Kazakhstan

Country Overview

Map of KazakhstanCountry Facts

  • Area: 1,049,155 sq mi (2,717,300 sq km), slightly less than four times the size of Texas
  • Population: 15,185,844 (July 2005 est.)
  • Population Growth Rate: 0.3 percent (2005 est.)
  • Life Expectancy: Male 61.21 yrs., Female 72.2 yrs. (2005 est.)
  • Infant Mortality: 29.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $118.4 billion (purchasing power parity, 2004 est.)
  • GDP Per Capita Income: $7,800 (purchasing power parity, 2004 est.)
  • Real GDP Growth: 9.1 percent (2004 est.)

Overview of U.S. Government Assistance

In FY 2005, the USG allocated an estimated $85.31 million in assistance to Kazakhstan (including $0.71 million in FY 2004 FREEDOM Support Act funding) including the following:

  • $11.51 million in democratic reform programs;
  • $9.20 million in economic reform programs;
  • $7.26 million in social reform programs;
  • $55.69 million in security, regional stability, and law enforcement programs; and
  • $0.95 million in cross-sector and other programs.

In FY 2005, a total of 322 Kazakhstanis traveled to the United States on USG-funded exchange programs.

FY 2005 Assistance Overview

U.S. STRATEGIC INTERESTS

Kazakhstan is a key partner in the Global War on Terrorism. Since September 11, 2001, the Government of Kazakhstan (GOK) has provided unlimited overflight rights for U.S. aircraft, waiving fees on more than 4,000 flights in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in August 2003, the Kazakhstani Government sent a 29-member engineering contingent to assist in reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The contingent has disposed of over three million pieces of ordnance. For the past decade, under a Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Umbrella Agreement, Kazakhstan has been a model nation in its non-proliferation activities. Shortly after its independence, Kazakhstan, which had a nuclear arsenal larger than Britain and France combined, agreed to destroy its Soviet-era ICBM infrastructure and become a non-nuclear state. Since then, it has worked with the U.S. Government (USG) to eliminate and, as necessary, secure the formidable weapons of mass destruction (WMD) facilities and materials it inherited from the Soviet Union. U.S. oil and gas companies have invested billions of dollars to develop Kazakhstan’s massive Caspian Sea energy resources, which have the potential to contribute directly to U.S. energy security. Participation by the Kazakhstani Government in the Aktau-Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil transport system will also provide a major new outlet for Caspian energy to world markets. The USG promotes democratic and market reform in Kazakhstan in an effort to bolster stability and prosperity in the key region of Central Asia.

KEY ISSUES

FY 2005 was marked by an increased focus on the prospects for political reform in Kazakhstan following the decision by the government to hold presidential elections in December 2005. In 2005, largely in response to the so-called "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and the Kyrgyz Republic, the GOK introduced a series of repressive pieces of legislation designed to prevent political instability by expanding the ability of the executive branch to regulate and control civil society. These included an extremism law passed in February, election law amendments added in April, and national security amendments enacted in July. In addition, in early 2005, the General Prosecutor launched a sweeping investigation of U.S. assistance partners based on allegations by a member of Parliament that foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were financing the political opposition. The lengthy investigations resulted in several findings of administrative violations, but no evidence of improper U.S. support of political parties. Nevertheless, the duration and intensity of the investigations severely hampered the ability of several U.S. assistance partners, particularly those working on democracy issues, to carry out their regular workload.

These developments led to the Secretary of State’s May 12, 2005, decision not to certify progress on human rights by Kazakhstan under Section 578(a) of the 2005 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (FOAA). As the Secretary determined that a waiver based on national security interests was warranted, assistance funding was not decreased. The decision served as an important political signal, however, of USG concern regarding respect for human rights in Kazakhstan. An intense diplomatic dialogue regarding the need for improvements in particular areas ensued, with limited results.

In August, the Constitutional Council ruled that in accordance with Article 41 of the Constitution, presidential elections should take place on December 4, 2005. Until that time, the GOK had publicly stated that elections would be held in December 2006. As the nomination process got underway on September 8, the USG designed and implemented a strategy to contribute to a free and fair presidential election process. The USG supported international and domestic observation missions, voter education, media activities and exit polling.

Meanwhile, the Kazakhstani economy continued to grow at over 9 percent annually due primarily to rising oil production and continued high world oil prices. Kazakhstan is currently producing approximately 1.25 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) and is on track to increase the total to 2 million bpd by 2010 and 3 million bpd by 2015. Although much of the oil revenue went into the offshore National Fund rather than directly into the state budget, the budget nevertheless grew rapidly. The adjusted 2005 budget included KZT 1,359 billion ($10.1 billion) in expenditures, while the 2006 budget projects expenditures of KZT 1,605.6 billion ($11.97 billion). The Kazakhstani government described the budget as "socially oriented," as funding for the social sector was increased significantly (education 45.3 percent, health care 43.5 percent, and social welfare 23 percent). The GOK continued to work toward WTO accession, with the goal of joining in 2006.

COUNTRY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Kazakhstani Democratic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Kazakhstan’s democratic performance during 2004. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2004 performance levels, while the two dark lines indicate how each country compares in its progress vis-à-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria – the "threshold countries" – were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and, (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country’s performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 9 (April 2005). Found online: www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/.

  Graph shows electoral process, 1.3; civil society, 2.0; independent media, 1.3; governance/public admin,1.5; rule of law, 1.5; average of Romania and Bulgaria, 2002; corruption, 1.3.

The graph shows Kazakhstan’s democratic reform scores in 2004* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s democratic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership.

 

*Actual 2005 not yet available.

 

 

Graph shows electoral process, 1.3; civil society, 2.0; independent media, 1.3; governance/public admin,1.5; rule of law, 1.5; 1999; corruption, 1.3.

 

The graph shows Kazakhstan’s democratic reform scores in 2004* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its democratic reform scores in 1999. For example, since 1999, Kazakhstan has regressed in all areas of the sector.

 

*Actual 2005 scores not yet available.

 

Kazakhstani Economic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Kazakhstan’s economic performance during 2004. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2004 performance levels, while the two dark line indicates how each country compares in its progress vis-à-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria – the "threshold countries" – were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country’s performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 9 (April 2005). Found online: www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country progress/.

Graph shows private sector share, 3.5; share of employment in SMEs, 1.0; average of Romania and Bulgaria, 2002; export share of GDP, 2.0; FDI per capita cumulative, 4.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 3.5; 3 year avg inflation, 4.0; external debt percent GDP, 1.5.

The graph shows Kazakhstan’s economic reform scores in 2004* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s economic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership.

 

*Actual 2005 scores not yet available.

 

 Graph shows private sector, 3.5; export share of GDP, 2.0; FDI per capita cumulative, 4.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 3.5; 3 year avg inflation, 4.0; 1999; external debt percent GDP, 1.5.

 

The graph shows Kazakhstan’s economic reform scores in 2004* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its economic reform scores in 1999.  For example, since 1999 progress has been made in foreign direct investment and in GDP as a percent of the 1989 GDP.

 

*Actual 2005 scores not yet available.

FY 2005 Country Program Performance

Democratic Reform

Despite strong economic performance, Kazakhstan continues to fall short in democratic reforms. Presidential elections took place on December 4, 2005, one year earlier than previously announced although overall more in line with legal requirements. Opposition candidates had limited time to present their platforms, but in contrast to prior elections, the opposition was allowed to register its candidates. This provided a modicum of competition in the process. The opposition had guaranteed, but limited, access to nationwide television channels and pro-government print media. The election, which resulted in 91percent of the ballots cast for President Nazarbayev, fell short of international standards according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The post-election period will test Kazakhstan’s commitment to pursue reforms of its political processes and governance institutions and, at the same time, to build on the economic reforms it has undertaken over the last decade.

Wary of a possible repetition of "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and the Kyrgyz Republic, the GOK tightened control over the operations of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially international NGOs. The Government passed restrictive national security amendments that limited political party activities, established controls on the operation of public and religious associations, and required non-commercial organizations to publish an annual statement on activities, sources of funding, assets, and expenditures. However, separate restrictive draft legislation on the operation of NGOs was found to be unconstitutional, following an active advocacy campaign by more than 200 NGOs, including U.S. partners and other international and local NGOs supported by a Democracy Commission grant. More than 30 partner organizations in the democracy sector, as well as in other sectors, were investigated by the Government, which took time away from program implementation and management. While the GOK has yet to fully release the findings from the investigations, the results have typically been administrative fines rather than more serious judicial actions. At the same time, the operating environment for local NGOs working on social, health, and economic issues improved, and the Government opened new possibilities for them to receive state funding. According to a recently released report by Transparency International, Kazakhstan remains among the most corrupt countries in the world. Out of a total of approximately 2,000 registered media outlets, many of which are in private hands, only 10 are considered to operate independently from the Government. The environment for media operation and the free flow of information worsened, with increasing seizures of opposition newspapers, harassment of journalists, and difficulties with licensing and registration.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The U.S. Government will continue to advocate for democratic changes in Kazakhstan. Programs are designed to strengthen civil society, independent media, and political parties; promote the protection of human rights; reduce trafficking in persons; and advance judicial and legal reforms. In 2006, the USG assistance program will place more emphasis on national advocacy campaigns related to democracy issues, increasing political debates and access to information, and (depending on the level of interest and commitment from the new Government), support for key institutional reforms, such as direct elections for local government and the decentralization of greater resources and authorities from the central to the local level.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE

While the USG’s democracy programs made progress in certain areas during the last year, the environment for democratic reform in Kazakhstan remains very challenging and the extent to which Kazakhstan’s political leadership has the will to pursue such reforms is uncertain. Progress over the last year included institutionalization of civil society strengthening programs, as a USG-supported civil society association successfully took over training, technical assistance, and grant management for its members and affiliates from an international implementing partner. The USG supported more than 80 NGO advocacy campaigns on issues ranging from disabled rights to local government budget transparency. As a result of close coordination with the Government and an active policy dialogue led by the USG programs to reduce trafficking in persons exceeded expected results, with more than 10,000 people receiving training on this issue. In the justice sector, the USG helped establish local capacity to prepare video and audio recordings of court proceedings in a pilot court in Almaty to increase transparency and accountability. Based on the success of this pilot effort, the GOK has expressed interest in replicating this program in other courts with its own funding. In coordination with local law schools, USG programs developed a legal reasoning and writing curriculum, which is expected to be introduced into law school curricula next year. Student-focused civic education continued, reaching more than 41,000 secondary school students.

USG-funded public diplomacy programs produced notable results. These included a Democracy Commission grant supporting an information and advocacy campaign that influenced the President to send a draft law to the Constitutional Court for review. The law, which the court ruled was unconstitutional, would have limited considerably the rights of Kazakhstani NGOs and international organizations. Democracy Commission grants also supported community development projects in rural Kazakhstan and established a legal clinic for the protection of children’s rights and for advocacy of women’s rights, which contributed to the adoption by the GOK of a 10-year strategy for gender equality. Alumni programs created a professional network of women to combat sex discrimination. U.S. Assistance also supported the opening of four American Corners in the major regional cities of Shymkent, Atyrau, Petropavlovsk, and Uralsk. These centers were visited by some 14,000 Kazakhstanis, mostly young people, in 2005. USG funding also supported the second in a series of American Studies summer schools on the U.S. Political System and Democratic Reform in Kazakhstan. The latter were attended by 25 young academics from universities throughout Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The programs were led by an IIP funded U.S. speaker who directed rigorous, intellectually engaging classes on politics and democracy. As a result, participants were able to conduct comparative analysis of democratic systems and reform, which is being repeated in the Kazakhstani academics’ courses at their respective universities.

Public diplomacy programs that had significant impact included a regional conference on sustainability for more than 50 top NGO leaders from the five Central Asian countries. The conference fostered a commitment to more cross border cooperation, creation of a regional website, and production of a manual of best practices to be distributed to hundreds of NGOs in the region. The USG also supported English language programs for approximately 1,000 English language teachers throughout Kazakhstan. These programs emphasized shifting responsibility for learning from teachers to students and developing students’ ability to read, write, and think critically.

U.S. speaker programs funded by the IIP Bureau brought American journalists to Kazakhstan to conduct seminars for reporters. The USG is seeking funding to establish a professional journalism program, which would dramatically boost the quality of journalism far and above the results achieved by seminars and short term training opportunities.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Democratic Reform. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 to December 31, while "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.

Performance Indicator: Civil Society Index. Assesses the growth of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), their organizational capacity and financial sustainability, and the legal and political environment in which they function; the development of free trade unions; and interest group participation in the policy process. (7-point scale: 1 indicates a very advanced NGO sector, 7 indicates a weak NGO sector) The 2005 ranking is based on 2004 data. Source: Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2005. Found online: www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Target

CY 2005 Rank

5.5

5.5

5.0

5.5

Based on the lack of noticeable improvements in this sector, the rank for NGO development did not change in CY 2005, which is based on 2004 data. While the USG continues to provide assistance to strengthen the capacity of NGOs, programs only reach a small percentage of organizations. In FY 2005, USG assistance resulted in strengthening 22 organizations, out of more than 4,000 registered NGOs. One of the most notable difficulties in FY 2005 was increasing governmental interest in controlling the operation of NGOs, especially international NGOs. The Government passed restrictive national security amendments that limited political party activities, provided controls on the operation of public and religious associations, and required non-commercial organizations to publish an annual statement on activities, sources of funding, assets, and expenditures. As noted above, draft legislation on the operation of NGOs was found to be unconstitutional, following an active advocacy campaign by more than 200 NGOs, including U.S. partners and other international and local NGOs.

Performance Indicator: Score for Independent Media on Freedom House’s Report; (7-point scale, with 1 being the best, 7 being the worst) The Independent Media component addresses the legal framework for, and present state of, press freedom, including libel laws, harassment of journalists, editorial independence, the emergence of a financially-viable private press, and Internet access for private citizens. Source: Nations in Transit 2005. The 2005 ranking is based on 2004 data. Found online: www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Target

CY 2005 Rank

6.00

6.50

5.75

6.50

The CY 2005 ranking for independent media did not change. Although Freedom House noted isolated improvements in the media sector, these were counterbalanced by continuing media control or buy-out by pro-governmental groups. During FY 2005, the media environment and the free flow of information worsened, with an increase in seizures of opposition newspapers, harassment of journalists, and difficulties with licensing and registration. Out of a total of approximately 2,000 registered media outlets, only 10 are considered to operate independently from the Government. The USG continued to provide training, technical assistance, and production support for independent broadcasters. USG programs reached more than 175 journalists and 9 television stations in FY 2005. Based on this assistance, one station became financially self-sufficient, due to increased advertising revenue and better management, while the other stations noticeably improved the quality of their news broadcasting and internal management. The Public Affairs Section brought a former TV news anchor to conduct a weeklong seminar at an independently owned television station in Semipalatinsk. At first resistant to the speaker’s frank advice, the station then decided to follow his recommendations, improving studio equipment, making personnel changes, and applying professional reporting standards. The result was a dramatic improvement in reporting, visual presentation, and technical quality of newscasts.

Economic Reform

Primarily due to its oil wealth, Kazakhstan is continuing to enjoy robust economic growth. With a GDP of $40.7 billion in current prices, the economy steadily grew at 9.4 percent in 2004 and is expected to grow by 8 percent in FY 2005. The Oil National Fund, established in 2001, currently holds about $7 billion in assets and serves both stabilization and saving functions. Kazakhstan continues to play a leading role in Central Asia in economic reforms, with a solid banking system, growing mortgage markets (at a volume of more than $1 billion in 2005), and approximately $4.5 billion in pension accumulations. However, challenges remain in addressing problems related to the country’s competitiveness and economic diversification, its over-reliance on the oil sector, widespread corruption, need for increased rule of law and governance, and concentration of political power. All of these hamper the growth of a middle class, and, consequently, economic prosperity. The incidence of poverty fell by half over five years, reaching 16.1percent in 2004, according to official statistics. However, poverty rates between rural and urban areas still vary significantly. This underscores a need to further develop a vibrant middle class through small and medium enterprise (SME) development, promotion of rule of law and public accountability, and expanded domestic and foreign investment away from the extractive industry. To ensure the irreversibility of economic reforms and to solidify its leadership position, Kazakhstan should distribute the benefits of economic growth more equitably among its population and diversify its economy to decrease heavy dependence on oil. The Government has shown some commitment to move in this direction by approving funds in support of the Program for Economic Development, a cost-share agreement between the USG and the GOK, in which the latter will contribute $2.5 million in 2006. Kazakhstan also has committed itself to privatizing the electric power and petroleum sectors, setting an example for the rest of the region.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

USG programs will continue to focus on strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and improving the policy, legal, and regulatory environment in which they operate. Economic policy reform assistance helps increase transparency in public finance and engenders public accountability through training in budget and program evaluation and public audit, all of which are critical to helping Kazakhstan prevent the resource curse, which afflicts countries endowed with valuable natural resources. USG-funded programs will also continue to help Kazakhstan move toward World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. While the bulk of the USG’s work in financial sector development ends this year, funding will continue to provide limited technical assistance to the Financial Supervisory Agency to help it amend the banking law, thereby improving transparency and strengthening supervision.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE

USG programs in economic reforms made significant progress in Kazakhstan. USG-assisted small and medium businesses reported considerable sales increases. Improvements were also made in the regulatory environment for SMEs, as demonstrated by the reduction in the number of procedures needed to open a business in Kazakhstan. USG assistance helped to introduce the one-stop shop principle and concomitant improvements in the process for starting a business. The USG provided training for accountants who must pass exams that are required for certification in international accounting. The financial sector continued to show strong performance, including growth of mortgages, mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, and credit availability for small and medium enterprises. In the credit arena, USG programs provided technical support to microfinance institutions throughout the region via the Central Asian Microfinance Alliance, the Kazakhstan Loan Fund, and the Kazakhstan Small Business Program. Progress continues under the Government’s plan to accede to the WTO, including adoption of a new law on technical regulations to modernize the standards regime, and removal of trade barriers and administrative/regulatory constraints to investment. For the first time, the GOK has announced publicly that it intends to accede in 2006. While there remain significant challenges in defending entrepreneurs’ rights and advancing the rule of law, much has been done to keep Kazakhstan on an upward economic reform path, and to solidify its leadership role in the Central Asia Region.

USG programs helped Kazakhstan to increase the capacity of water and energy management institutions; and provided models that demonstrated improved techniques of resource management. The USG completed installation of a unified communications network, utilizing meteor-burst technology, enabling the rapid distribution of critical, real-time weather and water resource information to participating countries in the region. This enables water releases to occur with respect to planned precipitation and the demands of agricultural productivity and electricity generation. USG programs also completed and made operational the multi-year Naryn Cascade Operation Planning Instrument, which will control all water demands of the Syr Darya River Basin from the Aral Sea to all four water basin countries. The USG supported a collaborative project with the Israeli development assistance agency, MASHAV, to improve water management in the Aral Sea wetlands region. Through its Water User Association Support Program in Southern Kazakhstan, the USG assisted farmers to improve irrigation water management and increase agricultural yields, and educated students at the Kazakh National Technical University about environmental issues, particularly related to oil and gas. In addition, USG assistance helped to create the Kazakhstan Electricity Association, an energy industry business group that advocates for regulatory changes in the energy sector.

USG funding helped develop and implement a number of Global Development Alliances (GDA) in the economic reform sector during FY 2005. In September 2005, ExxonMobil, the Kazakhstan Loan Fund, and The USG opened a new Enterprise Development Center in Astana, bringing new services, access to business training, and microfinance opportunities to this under-served market. In addition, the USG created a GDA with local banks and the Credit Info Group to establish a credit bureau. In partnership with USAID/Ukraine, the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Center for Business Skills Development, the U.S. also leveraged funding to create a GDA to promote the adoption of international accounting practices, principles, and standards. Through another GDA, the USG, the Eurasia Foundation, AES Corporation, the University of New Mexico, the Eurasian National University, and the OSCE began development of a Master of Science degree program in Environmental Management and Engineering for Central Asia, focusing on the management of air-borne and water-borne industrial pollution. In collaboration with Kazkommertzbank, the USG successfully began a Development Credit Authority program, through which both entities guarantee loans to qualified borrowers for heating efficiency upgrades and electric distribution system upgrades.

In FY 2005, 125 Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) served throughout Kazakhstan. A total of 80 PCVs taught English in town and village schools, providing classroom instruction and training in more participatory, communicative, and student-centered teaching methodologies. Other PCVs worked with a variety of host agencies to provide an organizational and community assistance. These volunteers’ efforts improved communities' capacity to address HIV/AIDS education and prevention; youth at risk; environmental awareness; gender equality; and small business/entrepreneurial development.

The Department of Commerce’s Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program is another important part of the USG’s coordinated efforts to support legal and regulatory reform, promote the development of SMEs, and complement efforts to establish greater transparency in government and society. In FY 2005, exchange programs resulted in the certification of the technical center at Almaty International Airport by the Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan to service A310-300 and Boeing 737-200 aircraft; sales of $1.5 million to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and Moldova in 2004 by a Virginia automobile and parts exporter; and the opening of an American-style coffee shop in Almaty employing 23 people and using equipment imported from the U.S..FSA funding in the economic sector is expected to phase out by 2009.

In 2005, USG assistance resulted in improvements in Kazakhstan’s business environment by tackling trade barriers and administrative/regulatory constraints to investment. The USG continued to expand its successful Reduction of Investment Constraints Partnership Program during the fiscal year. The program identifies and trains both governmental and non-governmental partners in the Reduction of Investment Constraints methodology, which is being used to reduce administrative barriers in cities and oblasts throughout Kazakhstan. The implementing partner signed and trained an additional 13 partner organizations in 10 cities. During the fiscal year, partners in eight cities successfully reduced constraints related to 20 processes. Annual cost savings resulting from the elimination of these constraints are estimated to be $14 million.

The USG, in cooperation with its counterparts, successfully eliminated 197 licenses and sub-licenses for private health care services, 112 licenses and sub-licenses for construction-related activities, and eliminated licensing in its entirety for 7 other categories of business activity. Elimination of the requirements for several sub-licenses and expansion of coverage of general construction and medical licenses to include related sub-activities led to a significant reduction in the administrative burden on companies working in these sectors. In addition, USG programs successfully lobbied for the delegation of licensing authority from the national government to local governments for tourism, nursing and medical activities, pharmaceutical activities, physical training and sporting activities, education services, and architecture, city planning, and construction related activities.

In May 2005, President Nazarbayev signed the Law "On Making Changes and Additions to the Customs Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan." Those changes, effective since June 2005, incorporate USG recommendations on simplification of customs control based on Risk Management and Post Entry Control, certification of imported goods, and simplification of documentary requirements for customs clearance. The changes will greatly lower the time period for customs clearance, simplify import procedures, decrease customs inspections, and allow greater flexibility in customs valuations. In addition, the changes create a new classification of "low-risk" traders who are not subject to cargo inspections at the time of import or export.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Economic Reform. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 to December 31, while "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.

Performance Indicator: Economic Reform Index. (1-lowest, 5-highest; data based on previous calendar year); drawing from Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2004 as modified by, "Monitoring Country Progress in Eastern Europe and Eurasia" USAID/E&E/PO, #9 January 6, 2005. The 2005 ranking is based on 2004 data. Found online: www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

FY 2002 Baseline

FY 2004 Rank

FY 2005 Target

FY 2005 Rank

2.84

2.88

2.88

2.90

USG support to the financial sector focused on further development of the mortgage market, private pension system, and the credit bureau, and contributed to economic growth by expanding opportunities for financing. As a result, Kazakhstan’s financial sector continued to strengthen. Residential and commercial mortgage lending has surpassed $1.44 billion, an $876 million increase from the previous fiscal year. The issuances of mortgage-backed securities increased to $585 million, up from $160 million a year ago.

USG assistance programs supported the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA) by recommending amendments to the Banking Law. The amendments enhance certain provisions related to the FSA’s ability to conduct effective consolidated supervision of complex financial conglomerates. The concepts of these proposed amendments were incorporated into the draft of the Banking Law that was submitted to Parliament in 2005. The amendments will increase consistency with European Union Banking Directives and international accounting standards by improving legal language associated with key concepts, will improve overall transparency of financial conglomerates, and will ease the information gathering and enforcement roles of the FSA. Consistency with internationally-accepted practices and improved transparency should increase investment in the financial sector from outside sources and lower the cost of capital for financial sector entities.

Social Reform and Humanitarian Assistance

The GOK has begun to show greater commitment to improve the health care system and interest in cooperating with the USG on health programs. The USG’s policy work at the national level has resulted in a steady increase in the Government’s health-related expenditures; the health sector budget increased from 1.97 percent of the gross domestic product in 2001 to 3.06 percent in 2005, representing a greater increase than in any other sector. In addition, the Ministry of Health recently announced a new health care reform program, which will focus on promotion of primary health care to vulnerable groups and streamlining the medical care finance system. This represents a unique opportunity for joint programs with the USG related to health finance reform to increase efficiency, transparency, and the quality of the health care system, infant, child, and maternal health, and improved control of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB).

Life expectancy remains low (male, 61.21 years; female, 72.2 years) and infectious diseases continue to be a threat, with rates of multi-drug resistant TB among the highest in the world. Approximately 14 percent of all new cases of TB are drug resistant, and therefore more difficult and costly to cure. TB incidence already poses a serious burden to the health system, with estimated rates in 2003 of 145 cases per 100,000 population (as compared to 5 per 100,000 in the U.S.). In addition, Kazakhstan is on the cusp of a new HIV/AIDS epidemic among injecting drug users. Although, by global standards, HIV prevalence in Kazakhstan remains low, there is an escalating trend (from 100 officially registered cases in 1996 to 4,500 cases today) and probable movement of HIV/AIDS into the general population. Avian influenza is another concern, as outbreaks have occurred in livestock in both Kazakhstan and neighboring countries, with one unconfirmed human case in Kazakhstan. The Government of Kazakhstan recognizes that stemming the spread of avian influenza requires a global partnership and is cooperating with international organizations to stop the spread of the disease among animals and prevent transmission from animals to humans.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The USG will continue to build on the increased commitment to health reform in Kazakhstan by increasing quality, equity, and efficiency of the health system. The USG will work in the area of primary health care reforms, introduce evidence-based practices, provide training to medical professionals and nurses, address infant, child, and maternal health issues, continue to support Kazakhstan’s effort to prevent and control infectious diseases, and improve medical data collection and analysis.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE

The USG’s health reform program exceeded its target for the percentage of outpatient visits occurring in primary health care (PHC) clinics. This shows that that service delivery and quality improvement interventions are taking effect and that USG-funded programs have resulted in a more positive political and policy environment for acknowledging the importance of PHC. The Ministry of Health demonstrated acceptance of evidence-based medicine and the use of internationally-recognized clinical practice guidelines and the Republican Cardiology Center adopted U.S.-designed guidelines for use at the national level. USG assistance programs remain active in working groups established for the national health reform program’s implementation, helping to maximize its impact. USG-sponsored medical education reforms are currently being implemented by the Kazakhstan Post-Graduate Institute. Largely in response to the new demand for training of doctors from around the country, Karaganda and Almaty medical schools opened new family medicine post-graduate departments in 2005. These developments represent a great success for the USG’s health reform program, which worked for some time to overcome GOK resistance to the incorporation of family medicine as a basis for a reformed health system.

Kazakhstan worked towards rolling out and scaling up health finance reforms to the national level over the last year. These reforms improve equity of funding within and between oblasts, and facilitate a transparent and responsive budgeting system, thus reducing corruption and potential conflict within the region. As part of ongoing efforts to combat the devastating consequences of TB, in 2005, the USG helped establish a national working group to address urgent needs, determine national policy, and enhance collaboration between the GOK, international donors, and NGOs involved in TB control in Kazakhstan. During 2005, Kazakhstan submitted a formal request for the second and final $16 million tranche of its $22 million HIV/AIDS grant to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM); the GFATM Board has signaled preliminary approval of the request, which the USG helped to prepare. In a related project, the USG began implementation of a GDA with the GOK and Becton Dickenson, a medical equipment distributor, to improve Kazakhstan’s ability to diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS patients by adopting HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment and creating a regional training center for donated diagnostic equipment. Additionally, in the social sector, the USG implemented a GDA with ExxonMobil to strengthen the ability of health care providers in Astana to adopt integrated management of childhood illnesses. Social sector funding is scheduled to be phased out in 2011.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Social Reform and Humanitarian Assistance. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Number" figure is the resulting measurement. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 to December 31, while "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.

Performance Indicator: Tuberculosis Incidence per 100,000. This indicator is the number of newly diagnosed tuberculosis cases, all forms, during the given calendar year. Source: World Health Organization, European Health for All Database. Found online: www.data.euro.who.int/hfadb/

CY 2001 Baseline

CY 2002 Number

CY 2003 Number

176.46

185.44

180.67


Since 1998, the USG has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Kazakhstan in implementation of the WHO-recommended Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) strategy to combat TB. This technical assistance includes provision of basic equipment, reagents, DOTS training, and establishing standard monitoring procedures. Joint USG and Ministry of Health efforts led to a 42 percent decrease in the TB mortality rate, from 46.9 per 100,000 in 1998 to 20.6 per 100,000 in 2003. TB incidence peaked in 2002, and since then has decreased by 26 percent, from 185.4 per 100,000 in 2002 to 180.7 per 100,000 in 2003. WHO data on incidence for 2004 is not yet available, but the National TB program (NTP) reports TB incidence for 2004 to be 154.3 per 100,000. NTP data has historically differed from WHO data, but has demonstrated the same trend of decreasing incidence and mortality rates. The USG focuses its technical assistance on implementing DOTS in oblast TB centers and working with primary health care services in TB pilot sites to raise treatment success rates in specific locales. Kazakhstan is also experiencing rising levels of drug-resistant TB. To combat this new threat, USG-funded programs have been working in a pilot site dedicated to treating multi-drug resistant TB in Almaty City.

Prisons remain a main source of TB infection. The USG’s technical support to the Kazakh penitentiary system has resulted in treatment improvements, thereby decreasing TB incidence among prisoners by 32 percent and mortality by 20 percent since 2003 (NTP data). The USG achieved these dramatic results by establishing a Center for Integrated Training in Karaganda City and providing training to TB specialists from Central Asian penitentiary systems, including 118 specialists from Kazakhstan. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention trained 39 laboratory specialists in Kazakhstan on TB diagnosis last year. The Government of Kazakhstan has responded to the USG’s efforts by supplying its prisons with TB medications and providing additional training for prison staff.

Performance Indicator: Infant Morality Under One year per 1,000 Live Births. Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Millennium Development Indicators. Found online: millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd.

CY 1995 Baseline

CY 2000 Number

CY 2004 Number

57

63

63

Infant mortality rates for Kazakhstan reported by the United Nations Statistics Division and other international sources are much higher than those reported by the Kazakhstani Ministry of Health, due to the fact that the GOK uses the Soviet definition of infant mortality, which considers pregnancies of less than 28 weeks or resulting in the birth of a baby weighing less than 1,000 grams as late miscarriages. Such deaths therefore are not counted as infant deaths, since they were never considered live infants. Unfortunately, this definition of live birth has resulted in infants not receiving basic lifesaving care at birth, thereby increasing actual infant mortality in Kazakhstan. International organizations have historically estimated infant mortality through random sample surveys.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) piloted use of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s internationally-recognized definition of live birth (often referred to as "international live birth definition," or ILBD), which provides a broader definition of live birth than the Soviet version. The WHO definition opens the way for internationally-comparable statistics and interventions to reduce infant mortality. In pilot sites, the change revealed an infant mortality rate 91 percent higher than that previously reported, indicating the need for intensified interventions to improve neonatal survival. In January 2005, the Kazakhstani Ministry of Health issued a decree to adopt the new criteria nationally. The USG and CDC continue to provide technical assistance to help the country apply the new definition and redirect interventions to improve birth outcomes. This year, USG programs helped to establish a working group to further promote ILBD, having trained 157 health professionals from pilot sites on the WHO-recommended criteria. These introductory activities have saved the lives of 66 newborns to date who would have been pronounced dead under the old criteria.

The USG’s work to improve health care for safe motherhood and child health also impacts infant mortality. The U.S.-funded health program in Kazakhstan emphasizes activities to improve children’s health. In December 2004, the USG piloted a newly-developed curriculum on integrated management of childhood illnesses (IMCI) for nurses in Astana. The five-day curriculum focuses on key information and simple skills needed for a nurse to educate parents or caretakers and perform basic clinical tasks. It covers breastfeeding and childhood nutrition, growth, basic hygiene, immunization, acute respiratory infections, and diarrhea. The "How to Conduct a Keeping Children Healthy Campaign" manual was distributed throughout Kazakhstan, where "community clubs" were organized to serve as information dissemination centers. The centers link family group practices and their communities, while the USG provides educational materials and advice on effectively working with the population. Over 300,000 brochures on IMCI-related topics were distributed to health care facilities and other institutions throughout the country. During 2005, 15,000 parents were directly reached through the use of school-based skits to convey IMCI messages. The USG’s safe motherhood pilots are operational in Zhezkazgan and Karaganda, with activities underway this year to establish a replication site in Almaty. The USG joined with WHO and the United Nations Population Fund in sponsoring a two-week course on essential obstetric care for the Perinatal Center and Maternal and Child Health Center in Almaty and produced and distributed an informational booklet on safe motherhood.

As a result of the USG’s efforts on live birth definition, it is expected that infant mortality rates reported by the Government of Kazakhstan will become more accurate, increasing to meet those estimated by international organizations. As the data reported by the Ministry of Health becomes more reliable, rates reported by international organizations will also become more exact, and some fluctuations may be expected in the next few years. Eventually, a decrease in infant mortality is expected as basic lifesaving techniques are utilized on more infants immediately after birth and the quality of care for pregnant women and for childhood illnesses improves. Because infant mortality normally does not undergo significant changes from year to year, data on the rate for Kazakhstan may not be presented by the United Nations Statistics Division for every year.

Security, Regional Stability and Law Enforcement

The GOK continues to place a high priority on security, regional stability, and law enforcement issues and security cooperation with the Kazakhstani government is one of the most active parts of the bilateral relationship. Rapidly increasing defense spending is the clearest indicator: The projected defense budget for 2006 is 96.6 billion tenge (KZT) ($717 million), up from 74.4 billion KZT ($553.5 million) in 2005. President Nazarbayev has ordered that the defense budget be no less than 1 percent of GDP. The GOK has also been paying increased attention to the need to combat the regional terrorist threat, following the revelation that Kazakhstanis participated in the July 2004 terrorist attacks in Tashkent.

Cooperation on non-proliferation and threat reduction issues also continues to move forward, due in large part to President Nazarbayev’s personal interest and involvement. While the cumbersome Kazakhstani interagency process creates delays in certain long-term undertakings such as the BN-350 decommissioning and the Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention program, the GOK’s political party will to address proliferation threats remains strong.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

In FY 2005, USG-funded security assistance programs in Kazakhstan continued to be based on a five-year bilateral plan of military cooperation focused on three main objectives: military interoperability (for waging the Global War on Terrorism and cooperating in international peacekeeping); establishing a military capability in the Caspian Sea region; and general systemic military reforms. USG assistance also focused on reducing the proliferation threat posed by Soviet-era nuclear, chemical and biological expertise and infrastructure. With U.S. Defense Department nuclear infrastructure dismantlement projects successfully completed, USG efforts now address biological and chemical threats through the dismantlement and securing of dual-use biological facilities and stockpiles. Additional USG priorities are conducting biological-agent detection response workshops and funding research by former weapons scientists to combat the very activities they engaged in during Soviet times. Other programs helped strengthen Kazakhstan’s maritime and land borders against WMD proliferation, international terrorist activities, and the smuggling of narcotics and trafficking in persons. The U.S. also addressed law enforcement issues in four major areas: money-laundering and financial corruption; counter-narcotics; trafficking in persons; and border control/security.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE

The International Military Education & Training (IMET) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs are having a significant impact on Kazakhstan's Ministry of Defense. Thirty-six Kazakhstani military personnel attended training in the U.S. in FY 2005 under the auspices of the IMET program, including Kazakhstan's second graduate from the U.S. Army War College. Kazakhstani IMET graduates are working with U.S. forces in Iraq and as liaison officers with U.S. Central Command. IMET graduates are serving in positions of prominence throughout the Ministry of Defense, particularly in the Airmobile Forces and in Kazakhstan's Peacekeeping Battalion. IMET funds were also used to purchase language labs and instructional material for Kazakhstan’s new Defense Institute of Foreign Languages. Additionally, in FY 2005 Kazakhstan's peacekeeping battalion received 27 high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV or "Humvee") through the FMF program. FY 2005 FMF funds will support Kazakhstan’s UH-II "Huey II" helicopter program that will provide airmobile capability in the Caspian region. The Kazakhstani government's decision to support the U.S.-led Coalition in Iraq with an engineer unit (now on its fifth rotation) is a sign of Kazakhstan's growing confidence in its military relationship with the United States.

USG-funded programs provided anti-money laundering (AML) training for commercial banks and other financial institutions as well as officials and officers of the Agency for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption (the Financial Police). To combat the crime of trafficking in persons (TIP), the USG source and destination country law enforcement cooperation by arranging and funding a visit of Kazakhstani governmental officials to the United Arab Emirates, a prime destination country for trafficked women. The USG collaborated with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide equipment and training to GOK border posts on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border to improve interdiction capability of the border service in this critical transit area. Finally, the USG collaborated with the Ministry of the Interior and funded the construction of an interior checkpoint on a major south-north traffic artery to interdict narcotics shipments that make it through the southern border zone on their way to Russia and elsewhere. Taking an initial step in addressing corruption in the law enforcement area, the USG sponsored a visit by representatives of the GOK Ministry of Justice and the Agency for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption to Palermo, Italy to learn from Palermo’s successful anti-corruption and organized crime-fighting programs. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collaborated to send 16 Kazakhstani law enforcement officials to an eight-week training class at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest.

The USG coordinates law enforcement assistance in Central Asia with the European Union, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the World Bank. With UNODC the USG is helping to establish the Central Asia Regional Information Coordination Center where tactical operations to interdict narcotics and arrest traffickers can be mounted.

Under the State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Assistance Program, the USG, provided a variety of nonproliferation training activities and technical assistance to the Border Service, Customs Control Committee, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Atomic Energy Committee. Equipment was provided to the Border Service of Kazakhstan for deployment in remote locations on Kazakhstan’s border with Uzbekistan. Patrol boats were transferred to the Maritime Division of Kazakhstan’s Border Guard in August 2005 and are scheduled to be delivered to the Caspian in January 2006. EXBS training programs in 2005 were provided on export controls and internal compliance designed to improve the capacity of Kazakhstan’s nuclear enterprises to adhere to national export control laws, and integrity awareness issues. A software tool was provided to customs officers with information on controlled commodities; an export control forum and workshop in Washington for high-level Kazakhstani export control officials; and a nuclear technical experts working group meeting that brought together participants from many countries in the region.

Since achieving nuclear-weapons-free status early in its independence, Kazakhstan continues to honor its commitment to nonproliferation. The main focus for the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD) and Energy (DOE) has evolved from the funding of infrastructure elimination to programs that focus on proliferation prevention. This year, the U.S. and Kazakhstan signed a bilateral agreement to pursue a program in the Caspian region that will assist Kazakhstan to develop a capability to detect and interdict weapons of mass destruction transiting the Caspian Sea. Additionally, construction began this year on facilities that will assist Kazakhstan to better track and store its especially dangerous biological pathogens. DOE has continued to pursue the safe transport and long-term storage of spent fuel from the BN-350 reactor, as well as the conversion of the Alatau research reactor from highly-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. DOD and DOE have also held numerous workshops to train GOK Border Guard, Customs, and other appropriate personnel to detect and respond to WMD. One such workshop on radiological detection and response planning was conducted jointly by DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the FBI.

In FY 2005, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service held several courses in conjunction with the Anti-Terrorist Assistance (ATA) program. The courses were conducted in Kazakhstan and at ILEA Budapest, and covered topics such as airport security assessment, airport security management, anti-terrorism instructor development, and transnational terrorism.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Security, Regional Stability and Law Enforcement. In the chart, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 to December 31, while "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.

Performance Indicator: Global Trafficking in Persons Report Country Rankings. Tier 1 countries are those whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Tier 2 countries are those whose governments do not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Tier 3 countries are those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. The 2005 rank is based on 2004 data. Source: U.S. State Department Global Trafficking in Persons Annual Report. Found online: www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Target

CY 2005 Rank

2

2 Watchlist

2

2

USG diplomatic engagement and programs have helped Kazakhstan move from a Tier 3 ranking in CY 2003 to a Tier 2 ranking in CY 2005. In April, the USG sponsored a trip to the UAE, a primary trafficking destination country, for Kazakhstani law enforcement officials in order to establish contacts with UAE counterparts to facilitate investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and assist the Kazakhstani MFA and Embassy in the UAE in rendering assistance to trafficked individuals. Because the GOK has not published 2005 crime statistics, it is not yet known how many cases the Kazakhstani and UAE have jointly pursued; indications are that contact has been maintained.

INL sponsored an anti-TIP seminar in May for investigators, procurators, and judges which emphasized the necessity of collaboration between them, the importance of developing the professional skills of anti-TIP investigators and prosecutors, and the importance of interagency cooperation in combating trafficking.

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