In Kyrgyzstan, the lack of an overarching civic identity left the population divided along ethnic lines and contributed to the marginalization of certain groups. In June 2010, interethnic violence erupted in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad and surrounding areas, with 470 deaths and 400,000 people displaced.
While the country has made significant progress since then, Central Asia is seeing a growing problem of radicalization. Approximately 20% of foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) in Syria and Iraq are Central Asian, with nearly 900 originating from Kyrgyzstan, and a quarter of those are women.
PBF’s most recent funding responds to these challenges, while recognizing that many of the factors that fuel recruitment into violent groups are the same as those that contribute to ethnic separation and marginalization.
PBF Investments in Kyrgyzstan:
Total allocation: $41.9 million invested since 2011
Current portfolio: $13.9 million
Rule of law
Partners: UNICEF, UNODC, UNFPA, UNDP, OHCHR, UN Women, WFP, FAO, Search for Common Ground, GPPAC
In response to the 2010 events, the PBF approved an initial USD $10 million package of projects aimed at addressing the immediate needs of those affected by the conflict. The PBF was one of the first donors to step in, enabling the Government’s immediate response to the violence. Responding to a request from then-President Almazbek Atambayev in 2013, the PBF extended its investment with a USD $15.1 million package for the implementation of a Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP) to address longerterm drivers of instability. The Plan focused on the role of governmental policies and laws, and the capacity of local self-government units to bridge divides between local ethnic groups. Gender was mainstreamed throughout the PPP, through a commitment of between 15-30% of the total PBF allocation dedicated to women’s empowerment.
A new PPP, approved by the PBF in December 2017, seeks to curb radicalization and violent extremism, including improving the State’s relationship with communities vulnerable to radicalization, improve the penitentiary system to stem the spread of radicalization, and address marginalization of women and youth.