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- OPEC Fund and partners support sustainable rural development in Uzbekistan
OPEC Fund and partners support sustainable rural development in Uzbekistan
January 19, 2022: The OPEC Fund is providing a US$75 million loan to enhance living standards of the rural population in Uzbekistan through access to quality infrastructure and service delivery. In addition to providing investments in key areas such as roads, water and energy, the project will also strengthen participatory local governance and community engagement in the planning and delivery of infrastructure and its sustainable management.
The OPEC Fund’s financing will benefit more than 700,000 inhabitants of the Bukhara region, the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, the Khorezm region and the Navoi region. The US$75 million loan will complement financing by the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development and the United Nations Development Program in these four regions.
OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “We are very pleased to join forces with the government of Uzbekistan and its international partners to provide financing that will make a real difference for the country. We support this program because it aims to alleviate poverty and to foster growth by addressing the underlying causes for development gaps in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The main economic activity in the rural areas of Uzbekistan, where more than half of the population lives, is agriculture, accounting for 25 percent of the country’s GDP. Nevertheless, poverty among the rural population of the Central Asian republic remains relatively high compared with urban residents due to low productivity caused by poor infrastructure and lack of access to technical and financial services.
The government’s program “Obod Qishloq (“Prosperous Villages”) seeks to address this discrepancy with targeted investments and reform of local governance in order to encourage independent regular economic activity. Uzbekistan has attracted international donors’ support for the initiative since its launch in 2018 with partners including the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Arab Coordination Group.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.