The Kyrgyz Republic will continue to create a fair and secure society that provides its members with all that is necessary for human development and social protection.
The basic resources to support this aim will need to be provided by the nation's attainment of sustainable economic growth. Effective management of the state and its institutions, together with the establishment of the appropriate legal system, will be the main drivers of the process for promoting fair distribution of the benefits produced by economic activity. Poverty reduction will be the main objective of social policy. An expanding private sector of the economy will be the foundation on which employment opportunities for the people will be built and incomes generated.
Reduction of corruption and the shadow economy will expand the domestic tax base, thus making it possible to pursue an active policy on expenditures for social needs. social orientation of the state's financial activities will be strengthened. Social policy measures will help to put targeted social protection on a rational basis.
Conditions will be created to enable each able-bodied person to develop and apply his or her intellectual and physical capabilities so as to increase personal well being. In order to achieve such development of the nation's human resources, the priority task will be to assure universal access to an improved quality of educational services and health care for all people, including people living in rural and remote areas.
4.2.1. Poverty reduction
The priority task of the Republic's social policy, where over 52 per cent of the population lives in poverty, will be to reduce poverty by half by the year 2010. The most important contribution to achieving this objective will be the implementation of the institutional, financial and social measures envisaged in the National Strategy for Poverty Reduction to the year 2003 (NSPR). The principles, policies and programs developed and applied under this program will, beyond 2003, form the basis for longer-term social programs that will also be aimed at attaining this goal.
The poverty reduction strategy will aim at:
· rapid development of the private sector, which will become the source for poverty reduction by generating employment opportunities and stimulating economic growth;
· social mobilization and the creation of conditions that will stimulate “self support” and “self assistance” among the poor;
· encouragement of individual economic activity among the poor, by expanding financial support mechanisms such as micro-financing, credit unions, credit cooperatives and similar facilities;
· more efficient management of state budget expenditures that are directed towards social protection;
· increased role for local authorities and administrations in managing their own affairs at the territorial level;
· deepening interaction between national government entities, local authorities, the private sector and civil society aimed at poverty reduction.
4.2.2. Employment, the labor market and creating jobs
The basic approach to be used in this area under the CDF will be to raise the level of employment by developing a system of social partnership and increasing the efficiency of employment programs. The main tasks will be:
· efficient implementation of regional and sectoral programs, aimed at creating additional job opportunities;
· world-standard vocational training and retraining of the unemployed for skills demanded by the labor market;
· vocational training for orphans, handicapped and refugee children for their further employment- training centers to be set up for these purposes;
· creation of temporary job opportunities through paid public works programs;
· development and strengthening of the micro-finance system for the unemployed;
· gradual switching of the burden of deductions to the Employment Insurance Fund from employers to employees with a view to create opportunities for development of production;
· improvement in the method used for determining unemployment benefits that relate benefits to accrual of funds to the Employment Insurance Fund;
· establishment of legal and organizational conditions to promote export of vacant manpower;
· improvement of labor market flexibility with the view of adequate distribution of human resources among regions of the country;
The state will provide most favorable conditions for development of the private sector, which is to be in the lead of the efforts aimed at improving employment of the population.
4.2.3. Social protection
Among the major persistent problems that have not yet been resolved in the process of reforming the social protection system are:
· the low level of state assistance available to the poor;
· an imperfect methodology for identifying the need for state support;
· the existence of numerous benefits and unjustified privileges;
· a weak legal basis for welfare services.
To improve effectiveness of the social protection, procedures will be developed to strengthen and better target the granting of welfare benefits while increasing the level of social protection for poor people. Better targeting of welfare benefits will be achieved through realization of the following measures:
· refining the existing system of welfare benefits;
· considerable improvement in methods for identifying needs for state support; and
· completion and introduction of a scheme of focussed social protection for the most needy after tariffs for energy utilities are rationalized.
In order to increase the level of social protection for the people:
· welfare payment rates to the most needy will be increased;
· the methodology for computing minimum social standards will be improved;
· efforts for self-support by socially vulnerable people will be encouraged; and
· the system of competitive delivery of social services will be promoted.
Social protection of orphans, invalids from childhood, and children without parents’ or guardians' care will be strengthened. Social services at the national and regional levels will be set up for the purposes of providing assistance to children from socially disadvantaged families, adolescents with mental and physical problems, and other vulnerable groups of children.
Social protection of pensioners, who find themselves in reduced circumstances because of old age, loss of capability, including invalids or those who have lost a breadwinner, is one of the most important areas of poverty prevention.
Pension system. The gap between the size of insurance contributions and the amount of benefits to be paid (including privileges) complicates the financial situation of the pension system. Further reforms in the existing pension system, including introduction of a system of accrued financing of pensions, are planned to provide for its financial viability as well as to permit an increase in the real levels of pension rates payable. The intention is to gradually reduce the rate of insurance contributions from employers and to increase the share paid by employees themselves. Reform of the pension-insurance system, based on the insurance principle of pension assignment, will be undertaken. So as to ensure levels of social protection for pensioners that will support them, basic pension rates will be raised and indexed along with deposits in personal insurance accounts.
Efficient development of a voluntary pension insurance system and establishment of private pension funds will help to bring the system of social protection of pensioners to a new level of quality.
4.2.4. Access to education, improvement of standards and quality of education
Providing greater access and a higher quality of education will be the main tasks in reforming the system of education so as to attain the goals implicit in human resource development. Integration with the international educational community by using new information technologies and by providing schools with electronic facilities for doing so, will be a key approach of the reforms. Measures will be taken to improve and retain quality teaching staff at all levels of the education system. New approaches will be adopted to encourage participation of independent professional bodies in quality control of educational services.
Providing access to education and increasing its quality presupposes addressing the following tasks:
· State financing of the educational system will be directed towards primary and secondary education. Construction and rehabilitation of schools, as well as their modernization, will be the priorities. The particular focus of the state will be on supporting schools located in towns and villages, as well as in mountainous and remote areas; the logistics will be strengthened. State financial support provided to public schools will be based on the number of students in each school. A system of local boards of trustees for individual schools will promote the flow of additional resources from the private sector to secondary education, as well as strengthening community supervision of the school administrations.
· Modernized system of vocational and technical education will strive to deliver training in fields that are in demand in the job market. The government will keep in touch with employers and employment services in order to assess labor market demand for qualified personnel. Efforts will be made to improve efficiency of development assistance projects implemented in the system of vocational training. Special arrangements will be made to provide technical training to young people from socially vulnerable groups, orphans, refugees and the disabled.
· State financed scholarships to assist students with high academic achievement, either as grants or loans, widely used throughout the world, will be introduced. The government will employ public tendering procedures for allocating such scholarships to institutions of higher learning. This will stimulate competition among institutions and improve the standard of education and training being provided. The process will also help to create an information base of the range of educational services and technologies available in the country. The activities of academies of learning and universities will be integrated in order to strengthen their research and educational activities. Using country’s scientific and intellectual capacity to address issues of sustainable economic growth and social development will become one of the priority areas of educational system reforms.
4.2.5. Science and culture
The future development of the Republic's intellectual capabilities depends on overcoming the critical degradation of scientific and technical research and training in the country. Scientific and technological development is essential for meeting the needs of innovative activities required by the market system. To successfully resolve such problems, the efforts of the state are to be aimed at implementing a number of specific policy measures that include:
· creating a rational financing model for scientific research institutions;
· improving the legal framework for development of science;
· encouraging competitive innovative activities and the development of privately-owned scientific research institutions;
· broadening scientific links and integration into the world's scientific community;
· developing applied science and commercially exploiting and applying scientific achievements to improve ability of domestic producers to compete;
· creating real incentives to prevent the outflow of intellectual capital from the country;
· enhancing the appeal of scientific research work in the Kyrgyz Republic to private investors.
Another task of particular importance to the state is to overcome the negative cultural consequences of the transition period by promoting development of culture under the new market conditions. To do this, there will need to be continued effort along the following lines:
· establishing a system of cultural education, especially directed at the younger generations;
· revitalizing and enhancing new cultural ties and integration into the world's culture;
· saving original, traditional directions of culture;
· public funding to encourage development in particular aspects of culture;
· creating a rational system of personnel training in cultural matters;
· improving the legal framework for promoting development of culture, by encouraging businesses to support cultural programs through charitable activities and sponsorship.
4.2.6. Access to health care
At present, the health care system is not generally accessible to people, especially to those who are not covered by social protection. Since there is currently an actual deterioration in health standards among the people of the Republic, reforms in the health care system are to be aimed at improving general health and encouraging healthy life styles.
This implies resolution of the following important issues:
· accessibility and quality of health care services;
· new methods of financing health services, encouraging the retention of quality medical staff with improved conditions of employment and increased remuneration of labor;
· maintaining a healthy society and raising the role of public health services.
Accessibility and quality of health care services will be achieved by:
· making primary health care services as available as possible to the people (by establishing family group practitioners and family health centers);
· reducing costs of maintaining an excessive capacity for the secondary level of health care;
· upgrading the physical infrastructure of health care institutions, especially of medical equipment;
· improving health care institutions' licensing and accreditation standards;
· improving certification of medical staff;
· further development of the state policy on drugs to ensure quality, availability and rational use of medicaments;
· development and support of private sector professional health care activities.
Health care funding system reform implies:
· centralized funding of state-provided medical services based on the performance of the health care providers;
· further development of the system of mandatory health insurance;
· decentralization in the management of health care institutions.
In terms of strengthening the general level of health of the population and enhancing the role of social health care, it is planned to:
· develop and carry out programs for the prevention of prevailing diseases, including treatment and rehabilitation of people abusing alcohol and drugs as well as HIV;
· enhance family planning measures;
· improve maternity and childhood health programs;
· increase awareness of people on issues related to protection and strengthening of health; and
· integrate sanitary and epidemiological services into the primary health care system.
Special attention will be paid to the development and promotion of physical training, sports and healthy lifestyle. This would require the government to promote active effort along the following lines:
· creation of a firm system of life-long physical education of people, including development of ongoing programs for children's and youth's athletics;
· upgrading sports institutions;
· establishment of reliable financing in the sports sphere;
· creation of favorable conditions for training sportsmen representing the country at the international level.
4.2.7. Gender policy
Efforts to promote gender equity policies and programs will continue. Measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination and unfair employment and dismissal practices against women in the work place. More active participation by women in state sector organizations will be encouraged and their professional positions respected.
Special attention will be accorded to the support and development of women's non-governmental organizations, most immediately to those involved in the protection of women's rights and those providing supporting services to children and invalids, rendering social services.
In order to give effect to these activities and intentions, it will be necessary to develop new approaches to evaluation of proposed programs and legislation, as well as to identify indicators that reflect impact of the gender policy pursued.
4.2.8. Development security
International terrorism, religious extremism, and all types of crimes and drug addiction threaten the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political and social and economic stability of the Kyrgyz Republic. Security policy will be directed at the reduction and prevention of their impact on the community.
One of the most important challenges for the immediate future and beyond will be strengthening of the country's military security and maintaining the Republic's armed forces always ready to oppose external aggression by forces of international terrorism and religious extremism. The concept of the Kyrgyz Republic's National Security and New Military Doctrine will be developed, determining strategic tasks and the use of the armed forces in the event of real military threat. Measures for re-equipping of the army, optimizing its strength, and converting the armed forces to a professional basis, will be undertaken.
Other priorities will be expansion and development of military and technical collaboration of the Kyrgyz Republic with other countries, active participation in international and regional organizations, providing collective security and joint effort to fight international terrorism, religious extremism and illegal drug trafficking.
State programs will be developed to reduce levels of crime, particularly corruption, economic crimes and drug smuggling, as follows:
· creation of principally new regulations regarding the activities of law enforcement bodies and establishing required conditions for fighting diverse crimes;
· reforming judicial system to ensure transparency and efficiency of decisions made in regard to prevention and overcoming corruption and other violations of law that affect the legitimate interests and rights of people, organizations and the state;
· creating effective forms and methods of preventing and fighting religious intolerance and extremism;
· optimizing the structure of law enforcement bodies and concentrating their activity on fighting crime;
· increasing the level of responsibility of executive bodies and local authorities for the fight against economic crimes and corruption;
· improvement of fighting methods with illegal circulation of drugs, introducing advanced methods and technologies for revealing contraband import of drugs and arms; and participation in international programs of fighting narco-business.
All of the foregoing can be achieved only if state budget revenue grows sufficiently to finance such activities which, in turn, depends on more efficient and equitable tax collection and which, in its turn, depends on a more productive economy and a more effective state. Much will also depend on the willingness of all elements of society to cooperate in attaining the national objectives.