International financial organizations and individual governments have been sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central Asian states to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, with the exception of Turkmenistan, where the authorities continue to claim there are no cases of coronavirus.
Despite all this aid, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have all seen spikes in cases of the virus in recent weeks and the governments of these countries have reintroduced some restrictions aimed at stemming this new outbreak. The situation is likely similar in Tajikistan, but the government there has been tightly controlling information about the extent of the health problem.
On this week’s Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL’s media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on how much money and other aid has gone to the Central Asian states and what happened to it once it arrived.
This week’s guests are, speaking from Almaty, Kazakhstan, Sholpan Aitenova, chief executive officer at the independent Zertteu Research Institute, which monitors government spending and budget transparency; from Bishkek, Shamil Ibragimov, the executive director of the Soros Foundation in Kyrgyzstan; from Prague, Abdullo Ashurov, journalist and television presenter for RFE/RL’s Tajik service, known locally as Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.