Three decades after independence from the Soviet Union, the Kyrgyz Republic has yet to find its development path. Like many countries that emerged from the Soviet Union as independent states, Kyrgyzstan experienced an economic shock in the 1990s, as its domestic industry was unable to compete in the new economic system. Kyrgyzstan has only partially recovered from the consequences to this day. The low level of industrialisation of the economy hardly creates any added value in the country itself. Today about one third of the population lives below the poverty line and the social security systems offer only insufficient protection to the most vulnerable. The labour market shows a large share of informal employment (over 70 per cent), which leads to a precarious situation for workers. Due to insufficient prospects on the domestic labour market, many people go into labour migration. Labour migrants contribute about one third to the gross domestic product through their remittances. This makes the country vulnerable to external shocks, but also has far-reaching social implications. The creation of a strong welfare state that provides equal rights and equal opportunities for all segments of the society is essential for a socially just and sustainable development.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation supports its partners in state institutions, trade unions and civil society in finding ways towards a sustainable, socially just economic model that offers a viable perspective for all Kyrgyz citizens. To this end, Friedrich Ebert Foundation commissions research studies, organises capacity builiding programmes, and facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms.