World Bank–Kazakhstan: 25 Years of Partnership

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In 1960, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest inland lake in the world. By 1990, as a result of the massive water intake for irrigated agriculture the water level had sharply decreased thus dividing the sea into two parts and exposing on the dried sea bed the evidences of the once navigable past.

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The results of the large-scale project to restore the northern part of the Aral Sea exceeded all the expectations. The construction of the Kokaral Dam allowed raising the sea level by 4 meters and increasing the water volume by 50 percent.

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Measures to save the Aral Sea have created favorable conditions for the restoration of precious species of fishy and, in general, improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the region.

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The World Bank supports the efficiency of transport and trade flows along the international transit corridor Western Europe-Western China, including the construction of a 1445 km long road in Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan and Almaty Regions. The road projects also support improvements in the road management sector as well as help enhance the road safety in Kazakhstan.

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In dry 2012 year, the adoption of the “No-till” climate-smart technology in Kazakhstan resulted in 0.7 million tons of additional wheat grain, which is enough to feed some 5 million people for a year.

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Over 35 000 hectares of dry land restored fertile to allow more livestock and better crops in Shetskiy District of Karaganda Region with population of 19 500 people.

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The World Bank supported the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company KEGOC to improve the quality of electricity supply, develop a competitive electricity market and restructure of the organization into an efficient energy distribution company. Three electricity transmission projects helped connect North and South regions to ensure reliable, cost effective, and high quality electricity supply to the people of Kazakhstan, and reduce the winter energy deficit in the south region.

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More than 2 million tons of mercury contaminated materials from the carbide factory near Temirtau, the sedimentation ponds, Nura river banks, and floodplains were safely disposed at the giant landfill. Today, the industrial site and the Nura’s riverbanks are now cleaner and safer.

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The Forestry project supported planting of saxaul on 56 000 hectares of the dried Aral Sea bed to trap the soil and stabilize the dry seabed. In the Irtysh Pine Forest, about 30 000 hectares have been planted to help rehabilitate the forest and reverse fire degradation trends. Every two years these young seedlings from the nursery are planted in new forests.

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The World Bank-supported implementation of the government’s comprehensive health reform strategy, ranging from health financing, health management information systems, and quality of health care, to medical education and research, pharmaceutical policy, and food safety.

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The Ust-Kamenogorsk Environmental Remediation Project helped to halt the infiltration of industrial contaminants into groundwater, and strengthen the institutional mechanisms for groundwater monitoring. Remediation works in Ust-Kamenogorsk have been carried out at five high-risk industrial waste dumps.

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The Technical and Vocational Education Modernization Project has contributed to building a consensus on development of a comprehensive national qualifications system, aligning the curriculum with occupational standards and setting the foundation for an independent certification system.

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Coordination efforts on the business environment reforms improved the Kazakhstan’s ranking on the Doing Business indicators from 74 in 2010 to 35 in 2017.

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The World Bank-supported “BOTA” Foundation supported a great number of projects aimed at improving the lives of children from low-income families in Kazakhstan by investing in their education, health, and social protection.

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