This week, Mr. Guangzhe Chen, World Bank’s Senior Director for the Water Global Practice, paid a two-day visit to Uzbekistan to deepen cooperation with the Government in support of water resource management. His visit also included a review of the existing portfolio of projects supported by the World Bank in Uzbekistan designed to improve coverage and quality of water supply and sanitation services, as well as irrigation efficiency.
Provision of clean drinking water, sanitation and reliable water for irrigated agriculture are key development priorities of the Government. The World Bank is substantially engaged within Uzbekistan’s water sector providing financing and technical assistance to focusing on policy and regulatory development, institutional capacity building, and infrastructure renewal, modernization and expansion to address binding constraints and enable sustainable water management and service delivery.
The World Bank’s current portfolio consists of five projects with total financing around US$680 million, benefitting more than 2 million people across eight regions. Notably, the on-going water and sanitation investments in the Bukhara and Syrdarya regions support the Obod Qishloq (Prosperous Village) State Program – which focuses on improvement of living standards in rural areas.
During his visit Mr. Chen held discussions with senior Government officials at the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministries of Housing and Communal Services, Agriculture, Water Resources Management, Foreign Affairs, as well as at the State Committee for Investment and the National Project Management Agency. The parties discussed the on-going reforms, priorities and areas of potential future support in water sector.
Mr. Chen also visited Bukhara Region, to review implementation of Bukhara sewerage and Alat and Karakul Water Supply projects supported by the World Bank. Mr. Chen met with project beneficiaries in a rural area, the regional authorities and other local authorities, contractors and consultants involved in implementing the projects.
At the conclusion of his visit, Mr. Chen visited the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers, where he was briefed about academic and research activities of the given educational establishment, and had a fruitful exchange with young water professionals.
The World Bank is helping Uzbekistan to reach a wide range of development goals and implement on-going reforms by supporting the implementation of 17 projects totaling over US$ 2.8 billion. These projects contribute to improvement of agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, urban development, water supply and sanitation services, which contribute to the country’s economic growth and higher living standards for the people of Uzbekistan.