KAZAKHSTAN AND AZERBAIJAN AS DONORS OF HUMANITARIAN AID. HAS THE DIVERSIFICATION OF AID CHANNELS AND DONORS REACHED SOUTHERN EURASIA?
Dr. Bruno DE CORDIER
Bruno De Cordier, Professor, Conflict Research Group and Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium)
Over the last decade, Azerbaijan and especially Kazakhstan have become the largest individual donors after Russia of official humanitarian aid among the republics of the former U.S.S.R. This article examines the quantities, channels, and underlying dynamics and interests of this aid and compares it with the wider global trend of the emergence or re-emergence of aid donors outside the dominant OECD bloc. Azerbaijan and especially Kazakhstan want to translate their new economic capacity into political clout and international and regional initiative, including different ways and channels of soft power like aid. They thereby eclectically use elements, policy concepts, and institutions of the international aid system and attach aid to a conditionality that is not related to governance, human rights, or democratization, but to diplomatic and economic returns.
Keywords: humanitarian aid; emergency relief; non-OECD donors; (re-)emergent donors; U.N. system; Kazakhstan; Azerbaijan; international aid system; political economy of aid.
The aftermath of the armed conflicts and large population displacements in Tajikistan and Nagorno-Karabakh, the winter storms and cattle mortality in Gorno-Badakhshan, the floods in southern Kazakhstan and Kulob, and the heavy communal unrest in Osh several years ago have left the general perception in a larger part of international opinion of southern Eurasia as a socio-geographic sphere that depends on external humanitarian aid rather than generates it. A whole range of foreign aid organizations and……….