Soros Shutdown Threatens Aid

by Nathan Hamm on 4/24/2004

Uzbekistan’s recent closing of George Soros’s OSI (Open Society Institute) Uzbekistan threatens $28 million in US aid:

The United States is disappointed that the Government of Uzbekistan decided last week not to renew the registration of the Open Society Institute (OSI), a non-governmental organization active in democratization programs, to continue U.S.-funded and other work in Uzbekistan. The Open Society Institute receives funding from the United States and has spent close to $22 million in Uzbekistan in order to help build a vibrant civil society.

This jeopardizes valuable assistance programs: a $16.7 million Drug Demand Reduction Program and a $12 million Basic Education program.

In the 2002 Strategic Partnership Framework, the Governments of Uzbekistan and the United States pledged to work together to strengthen democratic institutions in Uzbekistan. The work of OSI in Uzbekistan supports these goals.

If it’s actually Richard Boucher giving the message (as opposed the Undersecretaries that usually criticize Uzbekistan), it seems that someone is taking the aid issue very seriously. Maybe things like are helping the reevaluation along.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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