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Great Seal   Fact Sheet:
The United States Government Democracy Assistance to Kazakhstan

As released by the Office of the Spokesman, Astana, Kazakhstan, April 15, 2000
U.S. Department of State
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During her April 15-16 visit to Astana, Secretary Albright announced a number of U.S. funded initiatives designed to support democracy, human rights, and the growth of civil society in Kazakhstan:

Internet Access and Training: This program, which is administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), provides Internet access and training on Internet usage to journalists, entrepreneurs, USG exchange program alumni and others.

  • The USG will fund four new public-access Internet sites in Kazakhstan, in addition to four sites the USG has already established in Almaty. The new sites will be located in Astana, Atyrau, Shymkent and Karaganda.

Support for Independent Media: The USG is providing small grants and technical assistance to independent newspapers, TV and radio stations. This assistance includes limited equipment donations, as well as training seminars and materials on topics such as managing a media outlet, building advertising revenue and improving production skills. With support from USAID, the U.S. NGO Internews is supporting the development of regional and national independent TV networks, as well as an association of independent broadcasters.

Civic Education: The USG is supporting a number of civic education initiatives for Kazakhstani youth.

  • USAID is working with the Soros-funded Open Society Institute (OSI) to support OSIís initiatives to engage students of targeted Kazakhstani primary and secondary schools. The goal of these initiatives is to help students shape their countryís future and to promote critical thinking, debating skills and community service.
  • The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is implementing a civics curriculum reform program for the 10th and 11th grades that includes hands-on activities such as mock elections. IFES is also helping to establish school-based student action committees that would work with NGOs and local government officials to address local issues.

Exchange Programs: We continue to invest in the next generation of leaders. Since 1992, over 3,000 Kazakhstanis have traveled to the U.S. under USG-funded exchange programs.

  • Some 450 Kazakhstanis will travel to the U.S. on USG-funded academic and professional exchange programs this year, including programs implemented by the State Departmentís Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USAID training programs, the Commerce Departmentís Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) Program and USDAís Cochran Fellowship Program.

Support for NGO Development: The USG is providing small grants and technical assistance to a wide variety of Kazakhstani NGOs, helping them work more effectively at the community level and improving their ability to advocate their membersí interests with local government officials. Targeted NGOs include environmental NGOs, legal NGOs, womenís NGOs, and election monitoring NGOs.

Rule of Law: With USAID support, the American Bar Associationís Central and East European Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) is supporting the development of indigenous bar and judicial associations in Kazakhstan, and has helped establish law libraries.

Local Government: USAID is providing capacity-building assistance to local governments, with the goal of increasing their autonomy and facilitating increased citizen participation.

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