Central Asia (MNN) — Russia recently extended its military leases in both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, ensuring at least a tentative stabilization in Central Asia. President Vladimir Putin agreed to add another 30 years to the lease of the Russian military base in Tajikistan and 20 years to the base lease in Kyrgyzstan.
This means that, if needed, Russia has agreed to use military force to maintain peace in Central Asia–a region bound to grow more volatile with the 2014 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Political unrest isn't the only trouble stirring in Central Asia. In Tajikistan alone, 47% of the population lives in poverty, and at least 8,000 kids live and work in the streets. Eight out of ten people lack food security in this nation. According to one Putin aide, money sent home from the 1.1 million Tajiks working in Russia made up about half of Tajikistan's GDP.
Poverty often limits kids' access to education and adequate food, but Baptist Global Response is providing both to about 40 young boys in Central Asia. These boys don't have a school in their villages and are housed in a hostel by BGR partners. They're also provided a hot meal before they go to school each day. Help them receive a quality education.
Pray that these boys would rise above their circumstances.
Russian analysts have said "destabilization is imminent in Central Asia" when U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan in 2014. A source from the Russian Academy of Sciences has said that the Taliban hopes to return to power in Afghanistan or at least increase their influence, which would probably create a domino effect in the region. Pray for peace in Central Asia.