BISHKEK (TCA) — Certificates for receiving grants worth over 43 million Kyrgyz soms to improve public services were awarded to 13 municipalities from Jalal-Abad and Issyk-Kul provinces of Kyrgyzstan on April 26, the Embassy of Switzerland in Bishkek said.
The awarding ceremony was organized in the framework of the Public Service Improvement Project. This project helps to improve living conditions of people in rural areas through improved quality, access and sustainability of public services provided by municipalities. It is implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in Kyrgyzstan and the Development Policy Institute with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The competition for the best Service Improvement Action Plan was launched amongst municipalities of the Jalal-Abad and Issyk-Kul provinces. One of the requirements for participation was a contribution of at least 10% of the total amount by municipalities. Remarkably enough, applicants committed to co-finance around 50% of the project costs themselves. This demonstrates the importance and urgency of improving local service delivery.
“It is crucial to keep in mind that improving service provision is an ongoing process,” said Danielle Meuwly Monteleone, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic. “It is not only about procurement of new equipment or construction of infrastructure. It is mostly about good management by local self-governments, ensuring that maintenance costs can be covered and that service delivery can be sustained in the long run.”
The municipalities will improve service provision for drinking water supply; school and preschool education services; recreation services for children and youth and public utilities.
Earlier in 2016, the project supported 14 initiatives to improve services provided by 12 municipalities worth more than 42 million soms.