Kyrgyzstan: Money to fight against COVID-19? What kind of money? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Country/area: Kyrgyzstan

Organisation: Kloop.kg, OCCRP

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 24 Jun 2020

Credit: Aziza Raimberdieva, Alexandra Li

Project description:

The government of Kyrgyzstan was planning to spend $645 million on the COVID-19 crisis. Almost all that money is either international aid (both grants and credits) or voluntary donations. However it is offering no detailed information on where the funds are going. Officials say they do not have opportunities to track where do they spend money for COVID-19.

Compounding the issue, the country’s public procurement law was quietly changed in the middle of the crisis to ensure still greater secrecy.

This project is an attempt to understand how the Kyrgyz state authorities spend money to fight against coronavirus.

Impact reached:

The main impact is that Kyrgyz authorities have started to report information about the spent money. They started to publish information about received state body, purpose of payment and etc on the website covid.kg (there are still not enough details, but is already a good step).

After a while, a commission was created, which began to monitor the distribution of money received to fight the coronavirus. The commission concluded that the money was not used for its purpose and had been stolen.

Techniques/technologies used:

The only technology was writing script by programmers to scrap the help.covid.kg site. All other things (design, data viz) was created by free online tools. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

The most difficult thing was to get a response from the authorities. An emergency situation is still in legal force in Kyrgyzstan, and many government agencies use it in order to avoid answers to some questions. 

What can others learn from this project?

If at thшы moment it is impossible to investigate exactly where the money went, make The State (and its institutions) the main hero of your story.

Project links: