— Kyrgyzstan has been fighting poverty for the past 25 years. What is the progress in this direction?
— The republic has achieved significant success in the fight against poverty, which, according to the international classification, is equal to $ 3.2 per day per person at purchasing power parity. If in 2005, at least 52 percent of the population of Kyrgyzstan was poor, then by 2017 this figure had dropped to less than 20 percent.
In general, Kyrgyzstanis, like the population of the whole world, now live in more comfortable and favorable conditions than ever in their history. The modern generation will be the first to end poverty.
I see in this not only the social and economic goal of development, but also the moral duty of mankind — the eradication of extreme poverty and ensuring well-being for all.
— If 20 percent of our population is poor, then what about 80 percent?
— As you know, the development level of a country can be judged by the presence of the middle class. The middle class is calculated using an international threshold of $ 10 dollars per person per day. According to data for 2015, about 2 percent of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic belonged to the middle class.
That is, more than 75 percent of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic is located in the interval from the international poverty line ($ 3.2 per person per day) and the middle class ($ 10 per person per day). At the same time, most households are close to the poverty line and risk returning to poverty as a result of any negative impact.
— What are the recommendations of the World Bank? How can Kyrgyzstan ensure well-being and improve the quality of life of the people?
— As you know, the World Bank is engaged in analytical work on a global scale, as well as at the regional and the country level. We carry out our activities on the basis of the country’s development priorities and our own analytical conclusions. Our latest research shows that it is very important in all countries to develop human capital, improving the quality of health care and education.
In addition, the targeting and effectiveness of social protection programs need to be improved in Kyrgyzstan.
As for the long-term growth, the main hope is the private sector, which must «get out of the shadows» and create high-quality and sustainable jobs.
To do this, first of all, it is necessary to ensure compliance with the law and improve the business climate. This will attract investment in the most promising sectors — agriculture, tourism, mining and hydropower.
And, of course, a digital transformation to improve the efficiency of public administration and integration into the global digital economy is needed. These tasks are set by the government development program of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018-2022 Unity. Trust. Creation. The World Bank, in its turn, will provide both financial and analytical support to Kyrgyzstan.