Kazakhstan will launch a new program called National Fund for Сhildren in 2024 that envisions allocating 50 percent of the National Fund’s annual investment income to support children, nearly the third of the country’s 19 million population, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced in his Sept. 1 state-of-the-nation address.
The funds will be directed to special savings accounts for children until 18, with no right to early withdrawal. The funds could then be used for housing and education purposes.
The National Fund is a governmental entity modeled on Norway’s Oil Fund to accumulate a share of the nation’s profits from oil exports. As of July, its assets reached US$53.3 billion.
Tokayev called it “extremely important” to announce the new program in 2022, which is designated as the Year of Children in Kazakhstan.
“We have enshrined in the basic law the key principle that land and natural resources belong to the people. This is not just a beautiful declaration, but the leitmotif of all reforms. Every family must receive a real return on using the country’s national wealth,” said Tokayev.
Another nation-wide initiative is to create new modern schools for 800,000 children by 2025 as part of the Comfortable School national project.
The move will help address the problem of schools with three shifts and those that require immediate repair work as annual population growth puts significant pressure on the country’s educational infrastructure.