Strained by the spread of COVID-19 creeping over its eastern border with China, Kyrgyzstan has drawn support from its European partners to aid its economic recovery.
The European Union not only pledged support to Kyrgyzstan to fight COVID-19, it increased the amount of financial aid targeting the country’s financially stressed social service sector.
Kyrgyzstan reported losing tens of millions of dollars in taxes and customs duties from the COVID-19 lockdown.
The EU has been actively engaging Kyrgyzstan following the rollout of its Central Asia Strategy in 2019, which emphasizes human rights, border security, environment protection, economic development and regional cooperation. Kyrgyzstan and the EU are poised to sign an expanded cooperation agreement in 2020.
Before the global outbreak of COVID-19, the EU helped pay for improvements to the country’s social services, including creating a system of foster care for vulnerable children.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov also requested assistance from the German Development Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
Sources: 24.kg, Elgezit, Azattyk/RFERL