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State Department grant spends $500,000 on 'social media influencers' in Tajikistan

A new State Department grant will spend $500,000 in U.S. taxpayer money to subsidize bloggers and social media influencers in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan, Real Clear Policy reported Tuesday.

The grant notice, which is dated Jan. 7, estimated that the U.S. Mission to Tajikistan would give out 25 awards of between $10,000 and $50,000. The application deadline was Feb. 20.

The grant reportedly aims to further "the development of Tajikistan's democratic institutions and civil society" by funding "local journalists and bloggers" and  "increas[ing the] professionalism of social media influencers on topics of public interest and inspir[ing] them to post more on such subjects."

These topics include spreading "messages of tolerance" to "counter violent extremism," supporting "women's empowerment," and promoting "environmental awareness and action."

The latest State Department report indicates that there were "no reported terrorist incidents in Tajikistan in 2020."

The United Nations' Gender Inequality Index show that Tajikistani women are less likely than American women to die in childbirth and hold a similar proportion of seats in their country's parliament, though they also have babies younger and participate in the labor force at significantly lower rates than their American counterparts.

According to the Global Carbon Project, Tajikistan produces .03 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.