It is not easy for NGOs to operate in Central Asia. Most countries in the region have strict regulations, making it nearly impossible for NGOs to receive foreign funding. However, George Soros and his allies are trying to circumvent the system and continue to operate their network in the area in sophisticated ways.
According to regional data made available on the website of George Soros's Open Society Foundation (OSF), 2018 saw a total of 116 grants awarded in the Eurasian region. However, things are a little more complicated than that.
Central Asia has strict rules that govern the operation of foreign-funded NGOs. In Kazakhstan, for instance, the regulations prescribed by the state are so stringent that it is almost impossible for civil organisations to access foreign funding. Consequently, Soros and his network avoid pumping money directly into local NGOs. Instead, they support programmes through American and European civil organisations that have an impact in Central Asia.
The biggest sum, 1,5 million dollars, was awarded by OFS to the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), a higher education institution in Kyrgyzstan. According to the description of the grant, the money could be used to cover scholarships for students from Central Asian countries and Kyrgyzstan, as well as to support a variety of programmes and research.
George Soros's private university, the Budapest-based Central European University, has also received its fair share. Soros's university received 126.983 dollars to fund a scholarship for up to 25 people, allowing them to participate in a 6-day course designed to develop the capacities of a network of researchers and think tanks in Moldova, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
It Soros's foundations are also discennibly active when it comes to supporting LGBTQ organisations.
The European Lesbian Conference received 25 thousand dollars to support the building of lesbian movements in Europe and Central Asia.
The European wing of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex Association – Europe received 790 thousand dollars in general operating grants.
The US Tides Foundation, Soros's favourite dependent, received half a million dollars. The money was spent on a project called Freedom to Marry Global, with a view to strengthening strategic communication between LGBT organisations.
It is also clear from the map that Soros's network is most heavily represented in the country of Georgia.
Besides supporting organisations, the Soros network funded 14 so-called Fellowships to the tune of 22,234 dollars, as well as 17 Scholarships, which were granted a total of 343,671 dollars.