Saturday, May 05, 2007

World Bank Gives Aid to Help Kazakh Youth

Frozen Funds to Help Kazakh Youth under New International Agreement

This week, the World Bank announced its plans to assist the governments of Kazakhstan, the United States, and Switzerland in setting up an independent foundation in Kazakhstan to help poor children in Kazakhstan. The foundation is called the Bota Foundation (“young camel” in Kazakh) and will use approximately $84 million of the Bank’s frozen funds.

The concept and program of the Bota Foundation was developed by the World Bank in response to a request from the three governments to develop a way to use the funds for the direct benefit of the people of Kazakhstan, a country of 15 million people with an average per capita income of $3,800. Shigeo Katsu, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, says that it “is very gratifying to see that under this agreement the funds will go to support poor Kazakh families and children-at-risk through community-based activities and scholarships….This is a very positive step forward for the Kazakh people and government, and the World Bank is pleased to play a role in ensuring that the funds are invested in youth whose development and aspirations are so critical to Kazakhstan’s future.”

Question: Under the agreement, the funds are to be directed in the most transparent and efficient manner to the most deserving sections of society where the application of these funds would have lasting developmental impact. What mechanisms should World Bank put in place to ensure that the funds are dispersed according to their best, most beneficial use?

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