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Majlis Podcast: What Happened To The Aid Central Asia Got To Fight The Coronavirus?


Medical personnel gather outside a hospital in Almaty on July 13 to observe a minute of silence for colleagues who died in the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

Majlis Podcast: International Funding And Central Asia's Fight Against COVID-19
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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