INTSUM: Afghanistan – a New Migration Destination for Kyrgyz Workers

While the majority of Kyrgyz economic migrants still seek better opportunities in the booming economies of northern neighbors Russia and Kazakhstan, some are turning instead to conflict-ridden Afghanistan, where higher security risks are compensated with higher wages. A major source of employment for south-bound Kyrgyz migrants are US private contractors in Afghanistan. The US State Department has stated that it employs some 29, 000 private contractors there, many of whom are neither US nor Afghan citizens, but third country nationals (TCNs), who despite harsh and often dangerous conditions, are lured by the much higher wages.


Given the small number of Afghanistan-bound Kyrgyz migrants, it is unlikely that this trend will have any severe short-term impacts on Kyrgyz economy. In fact, those returning to their homeland with accumulated capital, are likely to have a positive impact in the area of SME development in Kyrgyzstan. However, given the general trend in migration causality from politico-ideological to economic, such a trend is likely to have more long-term consequences, which would be difficult to predict, and may even fall under a Black Swan category. One likely psychological outcome may well be a diminished sense of risk aversion in the segment of population that is facing exceedingly gloomy employment prospects at home.

Source Reliability: 8

Analytic Confidence: 8 


One Response

  1. Linda – Outstanding job with these. Not only were your articles right on target (and very interesting) from the BI/LEI perspectives, but you’ve also selected a very nice format with a clean, professional look. You also have some good analysis/comments with your articles. Nice use of links within the text, too. Great work!

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