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USAID interests in the North Caucasus2012-09-24 19:49
Russian media has presented the fact that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the young entrepreneurs in Chechnya through the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic as the news. It has openly held seminars on training small business owners and farmers not only in Chechnya but throughout the North Caucasus for several years. It would be naive, of course, to assume that the United States sponsored the development of the North business basing on humane convictions.
At the request of the Russian authorities the USAID is winding down its activities in Russia. Perhaps, the North Caucasian non-profit organizations, where, as noted by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the agency was most active, will bear the biggest losses from this.
The Izvestia has highlighted the cooperation between the Americans and Chamber of Commerce of Chechnya. USAID funded the project "A new generation of entrepreneurs" in the country. It provided training of young people the basics of management. Seven groups of 20-25 people were to study for three years under this project. The cost of their training for the U.S. is 4.2 million rouble. Another U.S. structure - the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) - was directly involved in it.
President of the Chamber of Commerce of Chechnya Nurbek Adayev and Vice President Zarema Chinhoyeva are now on a business trip in Moscow and do not comment the situation. But the journalists have learned that last May, Adayev went to Washington, where he had met with representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and CIPE, and also participated in master classes and workshops. Most of them were related to the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the region and combating corruption.
Small Business Association of Chechnya stated they had not heard of any projects of the USAID in republic. In a conversation with GTimes organization's head Maxim Bugayev noted, "we had no joint projects with this humanitarian organization".
Meanwhile, CIPE openly ran in the entire North Caucasus and regularly held workshops for the entrepreneurs from all republics and provinces. At one of them in Vladikavkaz in 2009, all business organizations grantees announced the creation of a business coalition "Small and Medium Business - Cooperation and Development". But the structure has appeared not viable.
Another American company Project Harmony (PH International) jointly with USAID opened schools for entrepreneurs in the five republics and krais of southern Russia.
The third American Corporation ACDI/VOCA educates farmers at the money of USAID. One of the participants of the project "Promotion of Agriculture in the Northern Caucasus" is also the Chamber of Commerce of Chechnya, the head of which simultaneously heads the Republican Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture. We must say that at the seminars of the ACDI/VOCA the project participants - students of Agrotechnological department of the Chechen State University - learn not about the U.S. grants, but about quite secure federal and republican government programs to support and develop agriculture.