Kazakhstan Allocates $312 Million in 2023 to Modernize Rural Areas

ASTANA – Kazakhstan will spend 143 billion tenge (US$311.5 million) in 2023 to implement 1,500 projects in 736 villages across the country as part of the Auyl – El Besigi (the Village is the Birthplace of a Nation) project, according to the Kazakh Ministry of National Economy, which is in charge of the project. 

A village in Kazakhstan. Photo credit: abkaz.kz

The plan includes 1,100 projects to improve intra-village roads, 139 cultural and sports projects, 119 housing and communal projects, 91 education projects and 45 healthcare projects. 

Less than half of the country’s population, or 7.8 million people, live in 6,293 rural settlements across Kazakhstan. The ministry selected 3,500 villages with development potential for the project. 

The Auyl – El Besigi program has been in place in Kazakhstan since 2019, and intended to improve the quality of life and infrastructure in rural and remote areas and bring them up to line with the System of Regional Standards by 2027.

It envisions the expansion of quality roads, cultural, sports and health facilities, schools with all the necessary equipment and developed infrastructure.

“Every year, we monitor the compliance of villages with the system of regional standards. This system aims to ensure a minimum mandatory level of accessibility of facilities and services to the population, depending on the type and size of the settlements. As a result of the project, the average provision by regions in accordance with the System of Regional Standards for 2021 increased by 9.3 percentage points compared to 2019 and reached 64.1 percent,” said Kazakh Minister of National Economy Alibek Kuantyrov at a Jan. 17 government meeting. 

In the four years since 2019, Kazakhstan has implemented more than 3,700 projects worth 326 billion tenge ($710.2 million), building and repairing 334 housing and utility facilities, 1,200 social infrastructure facilities and over 2,000 transport infrastructure facilities.

In 2022 alone, the budget allocated 128 billion tenge ($278.8 million) for more than 1,000 projects in 577 rural settlements.

Improving the quality of life in rural areas was an issue addressed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his Sept. 1 state-of-the-nation address. 

“I have decided to begin the implementation of a national project aimed at the needs of the rural population of our country as early as next year. Within two years, medical and obstetric stations will be built and fully equipped in 650 villages where there are currently no medical facilities. The state will provide access to primary health care for more than a million citizens,” said Tokayev. 

Thirty-two district hospitals will be modernized and transformed into inter-district multidisciplinary institutions that will have centers specializing in strokes, surgery and intensive care and rehabilitation units. 

The ministry has developed a draft rural development concept for 2023-2027 that provides for institutional support, reducing disparities in the provision of basic services through the development of social, engineering and transport infrastructure, and increasing the level of income of the rural population through the development of the agro-industrial complex, the promotion of entrepreneurship and agricultural cooperation. 

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