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Social work: solution to mass unemployment in Kyrgyzstan’s regions

Written by on Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Kyrgyzstan, Politics and Society
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A novel solution to the problem of unemployment in Kyrgyzstan’s regions, particularly among young people, has been hit upon by the authorities.

The leaders of local government in Naryn City and surrounding villages gathered on 26 June to discuss the issue, when the concept of supporting unemployed young people into social work was raised.

Unemployment is one of the biggest concerns in the mountainous Central Asian state’s small towns and villages, with high numbers of people going abroad to seek work due to the absence of major companies outside the cities, and with demand for jobs constantly outstripping supply.

Zhanyshbek Ibrahim Akun uluu, head of the village of Doobul, said: “There is in fact a lot of work in towns, but no funds to buy equipment, or for wages to create jobs.”

The Rights and Business Fund and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia with funding from the US Agency for International Cooperation have provided legal assistance to support this new approach to creating jobs in social work as a solution provincial unemployment.

Also included in the recent resolution, public authorities are to provide microcredit and financial support for unemployed people to start their own businesses, with the same funds being made available to support employers in creating jobs for unemployed local residents.

Aybek Ahmatulla uluu, a local resident of Naryn, said: “I’m happy to go out to work, but there is no suitable vacant job for me here in Naryn. I recently returned from Russia, where I worked for about a year, though I do not want go back as a labour migrant.”

According to Marat Bolotbekova, head of the local authority for On Archa village, bringing approximately 50 people into employment will focus on improving the appearance of the area, buildings, and nurseries, as well as repair work.

He said: “For different types of developments 800,000 soms were allocated, and we also received funding from the Aga Khan Foundation of $15,000. Information sessions for local authority leaders on attracting young people back to work will also be held.

“We need to think about creating long-term jobs and businesses, but for now we are starting with short-term social work.”

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