FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Uzbekistan

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Performance Report Highlights: Uzbekistan

FY 2010 Foreign Assistance Goals

The evolving political and socio-economic climate in Uzbekistan presented a number of opportunities for the United States to reengage with the government and citizens of Uzbekistan in 2010. Assistance programs focused on combating trafficking in narcotics, persons and weapons of mass destruction; increasing citizens’ role in governance; combating infectious diseases; and improving livelihoods of those engaged in agriculture.

Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $12.04 million*

Date: 2011 Description: Uzbekistan -- Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance:  $12.04 million. - State Dept Image

(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2010, not including centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries. Humanitarian Assistance total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $6.41 million in FY 2010.)

Highlights of FY 2010 Performance by Area of Focus

Peace and Security

-- After a long interruption, the U.S. Government (USG) resumed high-level meetings with the State Customs Service (SCS) and the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP), and conducted four training events with the Government of Uzbekistan (GOUZ)—the first such events since 2005. In addition, the USG was given access to nearly every port of entry requested, and was able to conduct a full assessment of Navoi International Airport. Also during FY 2010 there were 47 events planned for execution over the next two years as part of both the military contact plan and out of cycle events that were requested by the GOUZ. The GOUZ participated in 28 this past year.

-- Although Uzbekistan was placed on Tier 2 Watch List in the USG’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, the GOUZ did make some efforts to eliminate human trafficking. The level of cooperation between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the GOUZ on combating trafficking increased in comparison with the previous year due to recent GOUZ actions.

-- USG assistance supported prosecuting those involved in trafficking and strengthening the legal framework for addressing TIP. Public awareness programs were supported through newspaper, television, and radio spots, theater productions, and public service announcements. Through ten NGO partners in nine regions, USG programs conducted 534 awareness raising events (trainings, workshops and seminars) with nearly 50,000 people benefiting from these events; assisted 273 trafficking victims, and provided referral services to almost 13,000 people through anti-trafficking hotlines.

-- Uzbekistan received IMET training for the first time since 2004, following congressional approval for courses on human rights, defense reform, and English language training.

Governing Justly and Democratically

-- The USG supported eight workshops aimed at strengthening the skills and improving practical knowledge of criminal defense lawyers from throughout Central Asia. The regional approach to this program allowed for experiences to be shared between lawyers and other legal professional from across the region. Uzbek participants were able to increase their legal knowledge and practical skills on United Nations (UN) individual protection mechanisms through hands-on exercises and small group instruction. Participants were also encouraged to train colleagues and local stakeholders on UN protection mechanisms, and were trained on teaching techniques for addressing audiences of various skill levels, such as those they will encounter upon return to their communities.

-- The USG launched a technical assistance program designed to improve service delivery in ten sub-national government entities, primarily mahallahs, and expand opportunities for citizen participation. During FY 2010, the USG secured vital support and buy-in from the GOUZ for the program to work in these areas: capacity-building of local government officials; improvement of public service delivery; training seminars, conferences, and study tours; and local small-scale infrastructure projects. In addition, the GOUZ appointed two official coordinating agencies to work with the USG on implementing on this program: the Academy of State and Social Construction under the President, and the Institute for the Study of Civil Society.

-- USG activities established a network of regional housing associations to advocate for the interests of members/residents in their housing units, contributing to the establishment of 234 single-building housing partnerships, where individual citizens participate in their own governance, as opposed to larger partnerships which were found to be less responsive to citizen needs.

-- Legal consultations for civil society groups supported by U.S. assistance were in very high demand. Almost 3,200 consultations were provided to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and initiative groups in 2010. The majority of consultations focused on the issues of registration/re-registration, internal governance, and taxation. The volume of consultations increased dramatically in 2010, likely due to the suspension of the National Association of Civil Society Organizations. The program also distributed hard copies of various materials among NGOs, including texts of laws, commentaries to the laws, and books. No positive modifications affecting civil society operations were adopted in 2010, but several recommendations developed by USG-supported lawyers are now under consideration by parliamentary committees, including elimination of disproportionate administrative penalties for NGOs.

-- Small grants were used to help monitor the human rights situation, strengthen youth leadership skills, and enhance the economic potential of disabled persons. One small grant helped launch a new 24/7 FM radio station in the remote western city of Nukus and features programming in the Karakalpak, Uzbek, and Russian languages. This station is one of the most popular stations in the area, reaching an estimated 600,000 people. Programming involves the Karakalpak public in discussion of economic and social issues.

Investing in People

-- In spring 2010, Central Asia experienced the world’s largest polio outbreak in recent years. Ninety-nine cases of acute flaccid paralysis were reported in Uzbekistan, 30 of which were confirmed cases of polio. The USG collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health to support operational costs, management and organization, training of health care workers, communication/social mobilization, monitoring and supervision of thee rounds of polio immunization campaigns. These campaigns reportedly reached all children under the age of five. During the June crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan, USG support ensured that 36,000 displaced children less than 15 years of age were vaccinated upon entry into Uzbekistan from Kyrgyzstan.

-- USG partners participated in World Tuberculosis (TB) Day to increase awareness of and disseminate information to over 500 youths on TB prevention and treatment.

-- The USG was one of the first international donors in Central Asia to introduce the idea of quality improvement for general medical care. The USG provided funding to the WHO to host a General Practice Quality Improvement Conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and World Bank. As a result of the conference, a resolution was adopted and agreed to by the Ministry of Health, the USG and other donors to review lessons learned in primary health care over the last 10 years; create a coordination committee and various health theme working groups; and develop a new primary health care reform operational plan for the next five to ten years.

Economic Growth

-- The USG trained over 1,200 farmers (of whom over 25% were women), farm workers and agribusiness staff in FY 2010 in plant pest and disease identification and control, agronomic best practices, orchard pruning-thinning-grafting, cold storage management, drip irrigation, fruit and vegetable drying, and post-harvest techniques. In addition, the USG continued to work with farmers affiliated with five agri-firms, five water user associations and five agribusinesses in the provincial regions of Samarkand, Namangan, and Ferghana, as well as Tashkent. The farm household processing training, targeted to rural women, was expanded from one province to three. The number of on-farm demonstration plots was expanded from five to 32 to account for the new crops covered (apples, pears and quince) and to respond to farmer demand.

-- The USG’s Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safe Use Action Plan (PERSUAP) developed in collaboration with the National Plant Protection Service in FY 2009 formed the basis of a farmer manual designed, approved and published in FY 2010. Twenty-five hundred copies of this manual were printed with multiple trainings held throughout the targeted provinces. Additional trainings using this manual were held in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Uzbek Chamber of Commerce and Industry and private agribusinesses at their request. The manual has become extremely popular because of its farmer relevant content, practicality and user-friendliness.

-- The relatively warm and wet winter of 2009-10 stimulated mildew production in a variety of crops throughout Uzbekistan and the USG provided training to combat this disease, particularly in grapes. Farmers adopting the project recommendations saved their crops and benefited from the higher prices resulting from reduced national grape output due to disease in 2010.

-- New agricultural techniques introduced to Uzbek farmers in FY 2010 with the support of USG-funded technical assistance included drip irrigation and cold storage. Approximately 97% of all agriculture in Uzbekistan is irrigated, and drip irrigation is becoming an increasingly important means of efficient and effective water application and management. Nine drip irrigation demonstration plots were established on farmer fields to provide training opportunities in different topographies, crops, soils and water sources. Using a cost-share approach with local farmers, the USG increased the number of demonstration plots used in field trainings from five (three grape and two stone fruit) in FY 2009 to 32 (including the nine drip irrigation sites) in FY 2010. These “field classrooms” are used to provide hands-on training of farmers on improved agronomic practices resulting in increased production in stone fruits, pome fruits and grapes. The USG leveraged other partner funds to support technical activities, which nearly doubled (increased by 92%) the resources devoted to project technical activities.

Humanitarian Assistance

-- With USG support, over $6.4 million in donations of medical and non-medical supplies were air shipped into Uzbekistan during FY 2010 to aid ethnic Uzbek refugees in the wake of violence in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. The USG also provided assistance in the form of small reconstruction projects, including a medical facility and an orphanage for disabled children.