The European Commission announced today €25 million in support of rural businesses and populations in Uzbekistan.
Ahead of the upcoming EU–Uzbekistan Cooperation Council in Brussels, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov.
At this occasion, Commissioner Mimica said “Today's new support worth €25 million will on the one hand support rural economies to enhance the sustainable development of value chains and on the other enhance public services for the benefit of citizens in Uzbekistan. In particular, it will empower people living in rural areas by improving their access to public services - like birth registration or support for setting up a business - as well as increase public accountability."
This EU support will strengthen the sustainable development of the country's livestock sector, with €15 million of support until 2025. It will improve public services, policy development, veterinary services and research. Dedicated technical assistance will enhance the sustainable development of value chains and improve the market inclusion of smallholder farmers.
A cooperation project worth €10 million until 2024 will help to decentralise public services such as the system of Registration of Business Entities in rural areas and to improve their governance. It will furthermore strengthen the participation of citizens in this process, notably through a variety of outreach and social accountability mechanisms. Citizens will benefit from increased access to information and enhanced transparency of Uzbekistan’s public service delivery system. Selected areas of the country will benefit from integrated support services, often referred to as "One Stop Shops".
Within its bilateral and regional cooperation with Uzbekistan, the European Union has allocated €168 million to the country between 2014 and 2020. This cooperation focuses on rural development. Uzbekistan also benefits from regional and thematic assistance in areas like border management and drug control, education (through Erasmus+), democracy and human rights, energy, SME development, peace and stability and water/environment and nuclear safety.
The EU has been active in Uzbekistan since 1996 and invests approximately €24 million annually in development cooperation.