Eurasia Foundation

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The Eurasia Foundation is a Washington-based non-profit group that is "supported by the United States Agency for International Development and other public and private donors." It promotes free market dogma and is funded by neoliberal governments and corporations.

On its website, the foundation states 'Societies function best when citizens take responsibility for their own civic and economic future. Eurasia Foundation programs promote the skills and vision necessary to bring the greatest social and economic benefits to individuals and their societies.' [1] This does not mean that citizens can and should work together to manage civic and economic matters for the collective good. In fact what the Eurasia foundation proposes is that there should be no collective management by citizens but that corporations should be allowed to operate without regulation. The Eurasia Foundation grants are aimed at promoting "accelerated development and growth of private enterprise", "more effective, responsive and accountable local government" and "increased citizen participation in the political and economic decision-making process." [2]

The foundations claims that "since 1992, the Eurasia Foundation has invested nearly $275 million through more than 7,700 grants and operating programs in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan." [3]

Their program focus is similar to the National Endowment for Democracy.

"The Foundation promotes democracy and market economies in the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. The principal aim of the Foundation is to respond quickly and flexibly to the needs of NIS organizations with small grants. Its priority areas are: (1) business development; (2) business education and management training: (3) economic education and research; (4) public administration and local government reform: (5) NGO development: (6) rule of law; (7) media; (8) electronic communications." [4]


The Eurasia Foundation "receives majority funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through multi-year core grants. In 2004, through open competition, the Foundation received two major non-core awards from USAID to implement the Russian Independent Media Support Program and the Uzbekistan Drug Demand Reduction Program." [5]

In its 2002 Annual report the foundation stated that its ability to attract other funding from corporations, other foundations and institutions. "Until 2002, these multilateral and public-private partnerships were primarily focused on programs in Russia and Ukraine. They are now being expanded in response to new opportunities in other regions. For example, in the Caucasus alone, Norway, Switzerland, the Open Society Institute, and the World Bank have provided financial support for a wide variety of grant programs. And EF has been pleased to welcome the support of new funding partners, such as the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Newmont Mining, and Jinishian Memorial Foundation.
But the most remarkable change in EF’s funding base has been brought about by the revitalization of indigenous philanthropy across the region. In 2002, local donors contributed well over $1 million to support EF grantees in their efforts to promote economic reform and the growth of civil society. The trend is increasingly widespread and includes such disparate examples as the Dynasty Foundation, YUKOS Oil Company, the Volga Federal Administration in Russia, the Ganja Oblast Administration in Azerbaijan, the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating Corporation in Kazakhstan, and the Chui Oblast Administration in the Kyrgyz Republic. This exciting development signals the interest of local individuals, businesses, and regional governments in becoming strategic social investors.[6]

Associated organisations

EF has now has begun creating 'self-sustaining legacy organizations'. After several years of incubation, the Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC) became an independent organization in 2003. It maintains an office in Moscow providing research fellowship and training to local scholars. It also administers a western-style master’s degree program in economics and a World Bank-funded research center in Kyiv.

The Izmirlian-Eurasia Universal Credit Company (UCC) — successor to EF’s Small Business Loan Program—received its license from the Central Bank of Armenia in 2004. Soon after, it began direct lending from capital contributed by EF and partner Izmirlian Foundation. In its first year, UCC achieved sustainability.

Localization of the Foundation’s regional offices began in 2004, with the launch of the New Eurasia Foundation (FNE) in Moscow. FNE is registered in Russia, headed by a Russian citizen, and overseen by an international board.

Trustees and Staff

Senior Executives

Board of Trustees

Advisory Council