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Remittances help to avoid further poverty rise in Kyrgyzstan

Remittances have become an important factor in avoiding further poverty increase in Kyrgyzstan. William Seitz, Senior Economist, Program Manager for Poverty and Equality Global Practice of the World Bank in Central Asia announced today during the World Bank’s online briefing «Overcoming the Pandemic and Poverty in Central Asia».

According to him, the World Bank has not observed a sustainable reduction in poverty in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2012. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. When the republic approached the pandemic, the crisis threw the region back. However, this was a temporary effect. Those who were on the verge of poverty have left this zone today.

«But there is still a lot of work to be done to return to the pre-COVID level indicators. Our research has shown that residents of Kyrgyzstan consider the labor market as the most pressing problem. For them, it is most relevant in terms of poverty reduction. At the same time, people believe that the conditions are absolutely not suitable for finding a job within the country now. Only 20 percent of our respondents said that it is a good time to look for a job,» William Seitz said.

«At the same time, it was the remittances of migrants that helped Kyrgyzstan to avoid an increase in the level of poverty. The data shows that people tightened their belts and started saving more to help their families in Kyrgyzstan. At the same time, the money transfers are spent on basic needs, mainly on food. Low-income households already spend the lion’s share on food, and the money transfers as well,» the WB representative said.