IFPRI Central Asia Weekly News Digest (August 12 – 18, 2020)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | August 15, 2020

Beekeeping to be introduced to Kyrgyzstan’s Kara-Kulja forestry
With financing from the World Bank, Kyrgyzstan’s State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry has donated over 7 million soms worth of beekeeping equipment to the Kara-Kuldzha forestry. The area, spanning nearly 75,000 hectares, naturally produces large quantities of honey and medicinal herbs, and environmental conditions are ideal for beekeeping. The equipment will provide the necessary means for the development of beekeeping in this remote mountainous region, and will hopefully set an example for future initiatives. - Kyrgyz Republic State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry 

AIIB provides loan to the Kyrgyz Republic to support private sector pandemic response
In its first loan ever to the Kyrygz Republic, the AIIB will provide $50 million to help micro, small, and medium enterprises in Kyrgyzstan to stay afloat. An estimated 45,000 SMEs will benefit from this initiative, which will aid in retaining over 65,000 jobs. This project was approved as a part of the AIIB Crisis Recovery Facility. - AIIB

Over $430 million to be invested in Bukhara’s water supply system
Last week, Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers adopted a resolution solidifying a project to develop and modernize water supply and sewage systems in the Bukhara region with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The funds are made up of a $385.12 million loan from the AIIB and $52.5 million from Uzbekistan’s government. Please visit the link for access to the original decree (in Uzbek) and more details. - Norma

ADB Approves $750,000 Technical Assistance to Develop Distance Education Platform in Armenia
The ADB has approved $750,000 in grant financing to assist Armenia in developing a distance education platform to continue quality education while schools remain closed for COVID-19. The platform will benefit students from kindergarten-12th grade by allowing for online courses and other learning tools. This project may help pave the way for other online education solutions as other countries struggle with COVID-19. - ADB

Analysis & Related Information
COVID-19 Analyses: IFPRI Blogs
IFPRI is facilitating an ongoing blog series to discuss COVID-19 as it relates to food security and development at the global, regional, and country levels. Though some concern specific countries, the insights are applicable to others as the world collectively experiences the impacts of the pandemic. There are no new blog posts this week, but the rest are available through the link.

IFPRI Virtual Events
IFPRI has been hosting virtual events to discuss various issues related to food and agriculture policy. Videos like this will periodically be posted publicly after being streamed live, and will include presentations from researchers, discussion between researchers, and Q&A. This week, on August 18th at 9:30am, there will be an event discussing "COVID-19: The role of the agriculture-ecosystem health interface". Those interested can register at this link. The seminar will be available for viewing after its initial live showing as well.

Top 10 Blogs on COVID-19
The IMF has constructed a list of 10 brief blogs discussing various development issues in the context of COVID-19. For example, Corruption and COVID-19 lists ways in which COVID-19 brings about the risk of more corruption in countries and how it can be mitigated. A "New Deal" for Informal Workers in Asia describes the plight of informal workers struggling to make ends meat during COVID-19 and what can be done in the future to support them, and country economies by extension. - IMF Blogs

Publications & Reports
Analysis on impacts of hydro-climatic changes and human activities on available water changes in Central Asia
Chen, H. et al. 2020. Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 737. Early Online Version.

COVID-19 in the Kyrgyz Republic: Socioeconomic and Vulnerability Impact Assessment and Policy Response
ADB Publication. Manila, Philippines: Asian Development Bank.

Exchange Rate Pass-Through in the Caucasus and Central Asia
Poghosyan, T. 2020. IMF Working Paper No. 2020154. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund

Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains
Lund, S. et al. 2020. McKinsey Global Institute. Report.

Social capital, acculturation attitudes, and sociocultural adaptation of migrants from central Asian republics and South Korea in Russia
Tatarko, A. et al. 2020. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 3.

The craft of public administration in Eurasia
O'Conner, K., Carmichael, P. 2019. Public Policy and Administration, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 465-484.

The healthiness and sustainability of national and global food based dietary guidelines: modelling study
Springmann, M. et al. 2020. BMJ, Vol. 370, No. 8254.

Useful Links & Commentaries on Research Methods, Data & Publications
Monitoring the State of Statistical Operations under the COVID-19 Pandemic : Highlights from the Second Round of a Global COVID-19 Survey of National Statistical Offices
United Nations & World Bank. 2020. Working Paper 151837.

Events & Announcements
Virtual Seminars on Applied Economics and Policy Analysis in Central Asia
IFPRI, Westminster International University in Tashkent, and the Lebniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) will continue to host weekly seminars on topics related to applied economics and policy analysis in Central Asia. They will take place on Wednesdays, at 7:30am EST, 2:30pm Moscow, 4:30pm Dushanbe & Tashkent, 5:30pm Bishkek & Almaty. For subscribers, registration information will be sent on the Monday before each webinar. For more information and to subscribe, visit the link. This week's webinar will be hosted by Vanderbilt University's professor Kathryn Anderson. She will present "Gender Earnings INequality and Wage Policy: Teachers, Health Care and Social Workers in Kyrgyzstan". You can register directly through this link.

Virtual AFE Seminar Series
A virtual seminar series organized by John List of the University of Chicago Department of Economics and Robert Metcalfe of Boston University's School of Business is being hosted weekly on Zoom. Each seminar will include a research paper presentation and Q&A, starting at 12pm EST on Wednesdays. Follow the link to view the full schedule of presenters and to sign up for invitations to the live seminar. Presentations will also by uploaded to a YouTube playlist.

Online Agriculture and Resource Economics Seminar
Dr. Marc F. Bellemare and PhD candidate Jeff Bloem will be hosting a weekly (Wednesdays, 11am CST) online seminar to discuss various research topics related to agricultural economics, nutrition, and food security. For example, the next seminar on August 12 includes a presentation of the paper, "Size-Based Regulations and Environmental Quality: Evidence from the U.S. Livestock Industry" presented by Gabe Lade from Macalester College. Follow the link for registration information and a schedule of upcoming seminars.

Development Policy and COVID-19: eSeminar Series
The World Bank's Development Research Group is hosting an online seminar series for discussions on development policy as it relates to COVID-19. The seminars are completely public, do not require an application or sign-up, and will continue for the foreseeable future.




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The articles included in this news digest have been generated from online sources. Any opinions stated herein are not representative of, or endorsed by, the International Food Policy Research Institute or its partners. If access to locked articles is needed, please email s.nass@cgiar.org for a PDF copy.