What we’ve learned by tracking COVID-19 relief financing in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

COVID-19 DFI Tracker
  • The Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are the leaders in terms of investment amount and the number of projects financed.
  • The investments mostly went into the public sector to address urgent needs caused by the pandemic. At the same time, the private sector received more than 1 billion USD, which mostly went to MSMEs, as well as the finance, energy, transport and other sectors.
  • Projects financed through financial intermediaries constitute at least 36% of the total number of projects.
  • Around 38% of the total investments tracked by the Early Warning System during this time is directed at projects in Kazakhstan.
  • Uzbekistan has the most number of projects: 22 with a total of $2 billion USD investment.
Two mothers with children gather in front of Kazakhstan’s House of Ministries, to ask the government for additional assistance to avoid homelessness, as the KZT 42,500 in state aid is not enough to cover basic living costs for their families. Nur-Sultan, July 22, 2020. © 2020 Assemgul Mukhytkyzy (RFE/RL) Source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/08/17/kazakhstan-extend-expand-covid-19-aid

“The lack of interest from the government officials on local level results not only in misinformation or lack of accessible information about development projects for communities, but also in increased negative opinion that corruption is accompanying these projects. it is the lack of transparency that causes a negative public perception that all these [social protection projects] are not effective and are linked to corrupt interests of a small group of people” — Civil society partner from Uzbekistan

Development banks continued financing major infrastructure expansion, mainly transport, energy, and water resources. The development banks’ failure to ensure the communities’ access to information and therefore to ensure their meaningful participation can lead to significant negative consequences.



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IAP is a human and environmental rights organization that works with communities, civil society and social movements to change how today’s development is done.