FY 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance
FY 2008 Foreign Assistance Goals
The United States Government (USG) and the Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) share the same long term vision of a stable, prosperous Uzbekistan acting as a responsible, productive regional partner and as a bridge between Central and South Asia. However, both real and perceived threats to stability continue to cause the (GOU) to repress civil society, religious groups, and political opposition, thereby decreasing options for USG assistance and creating tensions in the bilateral relationship. The United States and Uzbekistan share a common interest in improving border controls to combat the proliferation of dangerous substances and weapons, reduce WMD proliferation threats, counter narcotics trafficking, and thwart terrorists and human traffickers. In the democracy sector, USG assistance aims to increase the capacity of civil society to organize effectively and enhance citizen participation. The health sector continues to be an important area for assistance in areas such as expanding tuberculosis control programs, combating HIV/AIDS, reforming the primary health care system, and providing medical supplies and equipment to Uzbek hospitals. To aid economic growth, USG assistance is designed to support the national grid company which manages the national transmission planning model, and to increase the capacity and effectiveness of Uzbekistan’s agricultural water management.
Total FY 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $9.50m*
Highlights of FY 2008 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Developed materials to raise awareness of Uzbekistan’s growing human trafficking problem and provided direct support to victims. USG-supported anti-trafficking hotlines averaged 4,200 calls a quarter that led to legal assistance and shelter referrals for hundreds of victims.
- Supported three competitively-selected joint U.S.-Uzbek research projects that engaged five former weapons scientists. One particularly noteworthy project supports research into the link between intravenous drug use and HIV/AIDS. This program also provided additional skill-building measures, training, and feedback on technical and financial reports from grantees, to prepare researchers to compete successfully for funding from other sources.
- Reduced proliferation threats through cooperative engagement of scientists, technicians, and engineers with WMD and applicable expertise through USG assistance to the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU).
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Supported 27 Uzbek human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work on prison monitoring, the operation of seven public defenders centers (PDC) offering free legal aid, training, and capacity building events for law enforcement officials, human rights groups, and civil society; as well as work on human rights monitoring and reporting. Through these groups, USG assistance delivered five training sessions and conferences, completed 153 pro bono court cases, and provided 1,184 consultations by PDC attorneys. USG assistance also supported a course on legal issues for the Tashkent City Branch of the Association of Lawyers, and 30 participants used the course to train an additional 39 law students who, in turn, provided 226 legal consultations.
- Built a network of 12 independent Uzbek journalists who contributed to the “Voice of Freedom” website and who were responsible for writing and disseminating 84 articles about human rights. USG assistance supported training for 47 human rights activists in habeas corpus legislation, trial monitoring, prison monitoring and human rights principles. Assistance also supported the formation of a national network of 30 human rights defenders from four regions. The network has been linked to the Central Asian Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Network that facilitates the exchange of information, know-how, and protection strategies among human rights defenders throughout Central Asia.
- Provided support to civic groups, including a program on the NGO legislation framework that resulted in changes to the tax code while helping to preserve a favorable tax structure for NGOs. In addition to improving the regulatory framework, USG funding provided technical support to the Uzbekistan Republican Society for the Disabled to begin an advocacy campaign urging the GOU to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled. In addition, women’s rights groups received technical assistance to lobby parliament on gender equity legislation. A series of 12 radio programs promoting women’s entrepreneurship reached millions of young adults.
- Promoted the growth of civic participation by strengthening the capacities of Regional Housing Associations (RHA) to promote market services in the housing sector and formation of resident-controlled housing associations. This year the project provided technical assistance to 35 RHAs and sponsored in-country study tours for RHA participants from pilot regions to observe positive changes in housing partnerships previously supported by the USG. USG funding also supported professional exchange programs for 38 visitors from Uzbekistan to travel to the United States to participate in programs on TB prevention, beekeepers association support, housing sector reforms, and educational and sporting opportunities for the disabled including participation in the Paralympic Games.
- Helped implement finance and management at 88 percent of rural primary health care (PHC) facilities, initiated similar reforms in 25 urban facilities, and started a case-based hospital payment system. USG assistance brought quality improvement techniques to hundreds of PHC facilities and pediatric hospital wards, and developed a national visiting nurse training program to improve health service delivery and involve communities in health promotion.
- Trained seven Uzbek epidemiologists on disease surveillance, epidemiology, biostatistics, scientific communication, and data analysis. The USG-developed laboratory quality control model was expanded to three provinces with funding leveraged from another donor.
- Worked with the World Bank (WB) to integrate the World Health Organization (WHO) model of tuberculosis (TB) management into medical education. With support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), USG funding trained TB specialists to use epidemiological surveillance and case management software, and worked with the national reference laboratory to monitor quality assurance practices in provincial TB laboratories. USG assistance also produced public service announcements for Uzbek Television and organized public events to promote public awareness of TB.
- Continued to partner with the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, TB and Malaria and the World Bank to finance HIV sentinel surveillance, training over 260 epidemiologists and lab specialists. The course on managing HIV-TB co-infection was incorporated into the national medical school curriculum. Drug demand reduction programs reached over 5,000 sex workers, drug users, and at-risk youth with strategies to quit and information about risks. In addition, more than 1,500 drug users participated in drug-free treatment and rehabilitation services, and more than 50,000 at-risk youth received behavior change education and participated in targeted outreach activities aimed at preventing drug use and other risky behaviors.
- In collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Woman and Child Health Development (WCHD) project, implemented Safe Motherhood (SM) programs in ADB project oblasts. In FY 2008, 434 people were trained in maternal/newborn health through USG-supported programs. The SM program includes monitoring against standard international indicators. In FY 2008, 92 percent of deliveries were normal vaginal deliveries in three project sites in Ferghana Oblast, which represents a significant improvement over previous years.
- Improved the quality of family planning services in three hospital maternity wards in Ferghana Oblast. This program focused on informing health providers and their patients about the benefits and possible side effects of family planning. USG assistance also trained 198 health professionals through a continuing medical education course developed by the UN Family Planning Agency.
In FY 2008, USG assistance:
- Provided Power System Simulation software and technical assistance to the UzbekEnergo national grid company which manages the national transmission planning model. This model will be modified to produce a model for all of Central Asia that can analyze transmission system bottlenecks, guide infrastructure investment plans, and increase the reliability of the transmission system. The last item is especially important to integrating the Central Asia system with Afghanistan.
- Improved agricultural water management by creating new and strengthening earlier organized self-sufficient Water User Associations (WUAs). Activities resulted in increased WUA capacity to distribute water equitably and more efficiently. Despite dry year conditions, most of the WUAs reported significant increases in agricultural productivity and net income because of improved water availability. Water management and delivery was improved for thirty WUAs, representing an area of more than 72,200 hectares. Farmers were able to intensify production of high-value crops such as grapes, strawberries, onions, potatoes, and persimmons. Gross income of WUA members increased from $1,683 per hectare in 2007 to $1,909 in 2008 -- a 13 percent increase. Income gains enabled members to increase investment in irrigation and drainage infrastructure, and WUA budgets for 2008 were $303,316, a 31 percent increase over 2007. During the year the project benefited a total of 237,000 people.
USDA Cochran Fellow Exchange Program Participants Reap Benefits – Uzbek farmer, Bobir Asrarov, made important business contacts in the United States during his fellowship experience. Specifically, he was able to discuss with U.S. companies his ideas of importing technologies and equipment for a juice production facility and expanding the export destinations for Uzbek products. Upon his return from the United States, another Cochran Fellowship Program exchange participant, Ravshanbek Yuldoshev, organized a meeting with neighboring farms also involved in fruit and vegetable production and processing. At this meeting he shared the knowledge he gained from his experience and now plans to expand his greenhouse area under vegetable production. He is also planning to open a mini-processing facility where he will process tomatoes, peaches, and apples and export his produce to Kazakhstan and Russia.