Employment-Intensive Investment in Kyrgyzstan

Web page | 10 December 2014

Current EIIP Involvement

In 2011, the Kyrgyzstan Government, in partnership with the Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) of the ILO, started a new project to contribute to the post-conflict socio-economic development of rural communities in South Kyrgyzstan through employment-intensive infrastructure development.

Its immediate objectives are: i) to generate employment through a selected number of local infrastructure projects prioritized by the affected communities; ii) to provide skills’ development for a targeted group of workers to increase their employability and iii) to draft a longer-term programme that contributes to solve the structural unemployment programmes.

In the initial phase, EIIP will respond to the current crisis by providing short-term employment for the population affected by the ethnic crisis through a Cash-for-Work (CFW) programme that focuses on unskilled operations that contribute to the rehabilitation of damaged social and economic infrastructure. During such an initial phase, the rapid provision of work that requires only limited planning and design will be prioritised.

Historical Information

Employment and Investment Policies
The recent political turmoil followed by the ethnic conflicts in South Kyrgyzstan resulted in a general slowdown in the economy. Industrial output declined by 5%, services by 10,9%, trade by 18,8% and agriculture by 3,5%. Basic infrastructure was also severely damaged including sectors essential for basic human needs. Political instability led to reduction in GDP and budget revenues, as well as in direct foreign investment. A 3,5% decline in economy was projected for 2010.

Low income populations in rural areas were among those who suffered most of the crisis. About one half to two thirds of the lost income is labour income (including wage workers and self employed). The adverse effects of the events in the South Kyrgyzstan on economy in general and on the labour market in particular will be long-term and nationwide. The crisis caused increase in the share of poor populations, and sustainable livelihood of these groups is now essential for reconciliation and recovery.

Post-crisis support for the affected groups is important for reasons of equity, social peace and stability. Protection of their security and human rights including the right to work, to free choice of decent employment has to be placed at the centre of the reconciliation efforts. Political stability should make a ground for economic and social recovery. Equal opportunities for all make it possible to avoid tension between different ethnic groups in future.

The Government has the capacity to implement employment-intensive infrastructure programmes and other active labour market programmes (ALMP) in case it is supported by international donors in their funding. Labour-based infrastructure projects might be used as a piloting model for temporary employment which can later be disseminated in a form of an ALMP designed and coordinated by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration (MLEM) in cooperation with different sectoral ministries and decentralised government.