Before international donors and local officials gather tomorrow to discuss a financial aid package for Kyrgyzstan, one figure is already getting attention: $1 billion. Yep, the damage from the recent violence and political turmoil, and subsequent economic collapse, cost exactly a billion, says newly appointed Senior Vice Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev.
But Muraliev did not pull that number out of thin air. The sonorous figure is floating around the international donor community and is expected to be center stage during the July 27 donor conference in Bishkek.
“The preliminary assessment for the country’s needs … are about $1 billon,” said a Bishkek-based source at one of the major multilateral donor organizations.
Kyrgyzstan certainly has huge financial hurdles ahead. The World Bank estimates the country’s GDP, on track to grow 4.5 percent before the April uprising, will actually shrink by 3.5 percent in 2010.
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