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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

II. Country Assessments and Performance Measures - Uzbekistan


U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
January 2007
Report
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Country Overview

Country Facts

  • Map of UzbekistanArea: 172,742 sq mi (447,400 sq km), slightly larger than California 
  • Population: 27,307,134 (July 2006 est.) 
  • Population Growth Rate: 1.7% (2006 est.) 
  • Life Expectancy: Male 61.19 yrs., Female 68.14 yrs. (2006 est.) 
  • Infant Mortality: 69.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.) 
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $48.24 billion (purchasing power parity, 2005 est.) 
  • GDP Per Capita Income: $1,800 (purchasing power parity, 2005 est.)
  • Real GDP Growth: 7.2% (2005 est.)

Overview of U.S. Government Assistance

In FY 2006, the USG provided an estimated $49.41 million in assistance to Uzbekistan, including:

  • $9.75 million in democratic reform programs; 
  • $2.31 million in economic reform programs; 
  • $0.90 million in humanitarian programs; 
  • $28.12 million in security, regional stability, and law enforcement programs; 
  • $6.04 million in social reform programs; 
  • $2.30 million in cross-sector and other programs; and 
  • Privately donated and USG excess humanitarian commodities valued at $23.31 million.

FY 2006 Assistance Overview

U.S. STRATEGIC INTERESTS & FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES

Uzbekistan's relatively large population, strategic location in the center of Central Asia immediately north of Afghanistan, and extensive mineral resources, including gold and uranium, make it a potential force for economic growth and stability in the region. However, the potential for instability exists: Islamic extremists and terrorists remain active in the region and there are no meaningful outlets for citizens' frustrations with economic conditions and corruption. The USG's principal strategic goals are regional stability, counter-terrorism, democratization, respect for human rights, economic growth and development, and global health. The Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) provided critical early support to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). However, the U.S. now faces an entirely different situation in its bilateral relationship with Uzbekistan. For the first time since independence, the GOU is openly hostile to U.S. influence and publicly portrays it as an aggressive power trying to dominate the region. The USG's foreign policy priorities are to promote long-term stability in Uzbekistan and the region by promoting democracy, respect for human rights, rule of law, territorial integrity, the transition to a market-based economy, combating trafficking in persons, and interdicting drugs and other contraband crossing the border from Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The GOU's unwillingness to work with the USG in many areas heavily influenced what assistance the U.S. was able to carry out. The GOU reduced the number of areas in which it was willing to cooperate with the U.S. to a handful and closed many USG implementing partners, thereby severely restricting the areas in which the USG could effectively cooperate. Nonetheless, USG assistance priorities remained those that support stability and USG foreign policy priorities of democratization, respect for human rights, combating trafficking in persons, and the transition to a market economy.

The health sector was one area in which the GOU still was willing to cooperate with the USG, although primarily at the "working level". USG assistance priorities in the health sector were to: improve financing, management, and the overall quality of primary care services; reform health policies in order to bring maternal-child and reproductive services into line with international practices; and improve surveillance and control of key infectious diseases.

Another USG assistance priority was to increase the income of the rural population. To do this the USG sought to: establish strong market linkages between farmers and consumers based on market demand; develop producer and processor organizations; and improve access to markets necessary for efficient production. Providing affordable financing to these private enterprises was a key element of this work.

OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

USG assistance efforts faced increased hardships brought on by the downturn in U.S.-Uzbekistan relations. The GOU sharply curtailed diplomatic engagement with the USG and refocused its relations toward Russia, while government-controlled media routinely published anti-American articles. In November 2005, at the GOU's request, U.S. forces vacated the Karshi-Khanabad airbase, which had supported OEF. GOU officials pressured educational institutions to prevent students from participating in educational exchanges and embassy programs. During CY 2006, the GOU ordered the closure through liquidation proceedings of an additional 12 USG-funded implementing partners. The GOU demanded pre-approval of partners' activities, shut down hundreds of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and denied visas and diplomatic accreditation to several Embassy staff responsible for assistance programs. The GOU continued to severely limit foreign grants to local NGOs and organizations by requiring approval by a banking commission.

Despite the difficult environment, some USG partners continued to work successfully in FY 2006. The USG continued providing small grants to local organizations and to conduct exchange and other programs. The GOU and USG continued extremely limited cooperation with the embassy on counternarcotics, nonproliferation, border security, and public health programs, as well as development of credit unions and certain education programs.

COUNTRY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Uzbek Democratic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Uzbekistan's democratic performance during FY 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark lines indicate how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and, (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://inside.usaid.gov/EE/po/mcp.html.

Graph shows Uzbek Democratic Reform:  Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, corruption, 1.7; electoral process, 1.2; civil society, 1.3; independent media, 1.2; governance/public admin, 1.4; rule of law, 1.5

The graph above shows Uzbekistan's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's democratic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and receive favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Graph shows Uzbek Democratic Reform:  1999, corruption, 1.7; electoral process, 1.2; civil society, 1.3; independent media, 1.2; governance/public admin, 1.4; rule of law, 1.5

The graph above shows Uzbekistan's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its democratic reform scores in 1999 (the bold line).

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available. 

Uzbek Economic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Uzbekistan's economic performance during 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark line indicates how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://inside.usaid.gov/EE/po/mcp.html.

Graph shows Uzbek Economic Reform: Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, external debt percent GDP, 3.5; private sector share, 1.5; share of employment in SMEs, 3.5; export share of GDP, 1.5; FDI pc cumulative, 0.5; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 4.0; 3yr avg inflation, 3.0

The graph above shows Uzbekistan's economic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's economic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Graph shows Uzbek Economic Reform: 1999, external debt percent GDP, 3.5; private sector share, 1.5;  export share of GDP, 1.5; FDI pc cumulative, 0.5; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 4.0; 3yr avg inflation, 3.0

The graph above shows Uzbekistan's economic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its economic reform scores in 1999 (the bold line).

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

FY 2006 Country Program Performance

Governing Justly and Democratically

The continued deterioration in U.S.-Uzbekistan relations significantly affected democratic reforms during the year. The GOU previously imposed controls on foreign grants to local NGOs. In FY 2006, it forced hundreds of local NGOs to liquidate. The Ministry of Justice continued its audits of international technical assistance organizations working in Uzbekistan. These audits, which began in 2004, initially focused on democracy implementing partners; however, in 2006 they were expanded to include almost all international technical assistance organizations, including non-USG funded organizations.

During the year the GOU accelerated court-ordered closures of international technical assistance organizations; from April 2004 to December 2006, the GOU forced out 15 USG-funded implementers. The GOU also closed implementers focused primarily on health, humanitarian, and agricultural assistance. Remaining implementers were still able to work, including on human rights programs, although it was difficult for most of them to work with local NGOs because of GOU pressure.

The GOU plans a presidential election for 2007. Independent political parties will not be a significant force in that election, or anytime in the foreseeable future.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

USG assistance priorities focused on promoting and protecting human rights and building collaborative partnerships for addressing economic priorities through public, private, and civic engagement. USG assistance priorities also included expanding housing reform by assisting self-governing condominium associations and building the capacity of civil society organizations to engage in issue advocacy.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Human rights activities supported and trained human rights defenders, supported a network of public defender centers, and fostered dialogue on human rights issues between law enforcement and other GOU agencies and civil society representatives. Two implementing partners were among those closed by the GOU during the fiscal year.

The USG supported civil society programs focused on NGO support and civic advocacy. Although the GOU closed two programs during the year, some NGOs continued advocacy efforts on "non-political" issues. The USG continued to strengthen civil society through the development of condominium associations. This program provided technical assistance and training, enabling these independent associations to manage their own affairs. However, the GOU closed the implementing partner at the end of the fiscal year.

The USG advanced activities to build public-private civic partnerships to address economic priorities, specifically creating jobs for youth in the Ferghana Valley and southern Uzbekistan. The GOU ordered the closure of one of the two implementing partners at the end of the calendar year.

The USG sponsored the participation of Uzbek religious figures in international conferences on the relationship between religion and public life. The USG also sponsored training on international religious freedom standards for legal professionals.

The USG awarded small grants to local NGOs working in human rights, civil society and mass media. Grants to mass media organizations supported the development of televised public service announcements for local NGOs, radio talk shows addressing civil society topics, Internet news sites, and schools for young journalists.

OUTPUTS

The USG promoted dialogue between law enforcement agencies and civil society groups. One program established two regional civil society groups which were able to intervene with local law enforcement agencies to address local human rights issues; one of the groups also provided training on human rights issues to 72 local leaders and law enforcement officials.

The USG-supported partnerships for addressing economic priorities focused on 19 communities in the Ferghana Valley and southern Uzbekistan. The program completed 11 infrastructure and social projects during the year, resulting in 120 short-term and 78 long-term jobs. Projects included establishment of community centers offering vocational training and space for small enterprises, and construction of a local market and irrigation system to boost farming production and trade.

The USG sponsored Uzbek participation in a USG-supported conference of religious leaders in Dushanbe in June 2006. The USG organized a series of regional trainings on international religious freedom standards for 80 legal professionals in three cities in Uzbekistan.

In FY 2006, the USG distributed small grants to 51 NGOs working in human rights, mass media and civil society. 17 NGOs produced public service announcements that were each aired (or scheduled to be aired) nearly 30 times. In addition, a grant enabled a major Tashkent-based radio station to broadcast 30 talk shows dedicated to civil society issues, with another two dozen planned. Although exact statistics are unavailable, the radio station estimates that hundreds of thousands of people listened to these programs. Several human rights groups received grants to monitor and report on human rights violations, focusing on cases of religious or political persecution. Others received funds to raise legal literacy or to curb domestic violence or trafficking in women and girls. Grants to mass media organizations helped support workshops on ethics and investigative journalism as well as the publication of articles exploring social issues.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

During CY 2006, the GOU stepped up the pace of auditing international organizations and sought court-ordered closures of many USG democracy sector implementing partners. While the GOU closed some humanitarian assistance and economic growth programs, it particularly targeted democracy sector programs.

Although the GOU closed two USG human rights program implementers, USG assistance did achieve some modest successes. The USG supported civil society groups in two communities and successfully engaged local officials on human rights abuses in their communities. In addition, one civil society group trained 72 local leaders and law enforcement officials on human rights issues.

The USG's efforts to build collaborative partnerships for addressing economic priorities successfully created 208 short- and long-term jobs. More importantly, youth in targeted communities gained income from newly acquired skills as a result of vocational and business trainings. Communities subsequently continued to implement their own projects without USG financial support.

The USG proactively included religious leaders in other USG programs as a means to increase the inclusiveness and penetration of programming. These and other Embassy outreach efforts allowed the USG to maintain positive relations with Muslim religious leaders in Uzbekistan.

Local recipients of small USG grants continued their activity, demonstrating that not all of them have been intimidated by increasing GOU pressure. They produced a number of reports on developments in Uzbekistan, in particular on human rights violations, and produced programming on important public interest issues.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.
Please find below two important indicators in the area of Governing Justly and Democratically. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Independent Media Rating, from Freedom House Nations in Transit 2006. The Freedom House rating addresses the current state of press freedom, including libel laws, harassment of journalists, editorial independence, the emergency of a financially viable private press, and Internet access for private citizens. Measurement is on a 7-point scale, with 1 being the best, 7 being the worst. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Rank

CY 2007 Target

6.75

6.75

7.00

6.90



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator worsened in CY 2006 as the GOU continued its efforts to suppress independent media. Independent journalists continued to be harassed and/or arrested and imprisoned. The GOU closed all USG media-support programs and expelled many international media organizations. The CY 2007 target is higher because the influence of regional media may cause the GOU to reduce its restrictions.

NGO Sustainability Index (Source: USAID, 1 = highest; 7 = lowest; data based on previous calendar year). Seven different dimensions of the NGO sector are analyzed each year in the NGO Sustainability Index: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, NGO infrastructure and public image. The NGO Sustainability Index uses a seven-point scale, to facilitate comparisons to the Freedom House indices, with 7 indicating a low or poor level of development and 1 indicating a very advanced NGO sector. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Found online at: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/dem_gov/ngoindex.

 

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

4.7

5.3

5.6

5.6



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator was lower because the environment for NGOs worsened significantly in CY 2005 and did not improve in CY 2006. While the formal legal environment did not change appreciably, the GOU forced hundreds of independent NGOs to "voluntarily" liquidate. In addition, banking regulations continued to make it almost impossible for any independent NGOs to receive grants from international donors. The GOU also propagandized against local and international NGOs, accusing many of them of being "tools" of foreign powers.

Economic Growth

The highly centralized GOU continued to enact policies that drove the country further away from a market economy, including controls on access to local currency, restrictions on currency convertibility, and strict border controls. Uzbekistan was plagued by widespread underemployment and unemployment, poor social infrastructure, weak educational and health facilities, and pervasive government interference and human rights abuses. Nearly one-third of Uzbeks live below the international poverty line. The GOU continued to inject money into the Ferghana Valley to ease the population's economic concerns. The state-controlled banking system desperately needs reform.

The National Bank of Uzbekistan, the country's largest bank, was plagued by corruption scandals and was barely solvent. The banking sector lacked public trust. Foreign businesses were hesitant to invest due to inconsistent legislation that allows arbitrary interpretation and application of the law. In CY 2006, numerous foreign companies came under harsh government scrutiny, and the GOU expropriated the assets of some. This led some firms to pull out and seek international arbitration.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The declining economic conditions and reduced living standards of Uzbekistan reinforced the need to improve income and provide employment opportunities to the rural population. Because USG engagement with the GOU was limited, programs focused on providing direct assistance to the underdeveloped private sector, such as providing assistance to small and medium sized enterprises in rural areas, which directly impacts the economy through new jobs and capital generation. A key element of element of rural development was providing affordable financing to these private enterprises. The main goals of the strategy were to: increase the income of the rural population by establishing strong market linkages between farmers and consumers based on market demand; increase competitiveness through the promotion of better industrial policies, standards, trade facilitation, investment, and management; develop producer and processor organizations to facilitate technology transfer, advocacy, and productivity; expand access to inputs and markets necessary for efficient production; and increase access to credit.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Most USG assistance to the central GOU was suspended because the Secretary of State did not certify Uzbekistan as having met the conditions required for certification pursuant to Section 578 of the FY 2006 Foreign Operations Assistance Appropriations Act. USG assistance focused instead on NGOs and local partners.

The USG facilitated a web-based trade network and offered trade support services to individual enterprises. The USG worked with non-government think tanks, universities, and other entities with potential to influence economic policymaking. The USG supported training and testing to accountants and auditors so they could meet Certified International Professional Accountant (CIPA) standards and implement market economy enterprise accounting in order to foster enterprise efficiency, economic growth and integration.

The USG facilitated investments in small and medium enterprises through the Central Asia Small Enterprise Fund. The USG also worked with the local business community and private sector to promote good corporate governance. The USG supported microfinance institutions, which provided loans to micro-businesses. The USG also provided training and support for private credit unions, which provided capital to small and micro-businesses.

One of the areas where the USG was able to work with limited GOU support was in agriculture. The USG assistance strengthened local water user associations and improved water management at the farm level. The USG temporarily suspended the program when the GOU closed down the implementing the USG-funded partner. In 2006, local partners improved potable water supply in Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic in western Uzbekistan, using USG equipment granted in 2004.

OUTPUTS

The USG continued support to local partners in facilitating web-based trade; trade advisors and local partners together conducted 86 trade deals worth approximately $6 million, 19.3% of the total of web-based trade for Central Asia.

The USG provided consulting services for small and medium enterprises, assisting 116 businesses. In 2006, as a result of training to meet CIPA standards, 698 accountants and auditors became certified accountant technicians, 175 accountants became certified accountant practitioners, and 11 accountants become certified international professional accountants. In FY 2006, the USG-managed Central Asia Small Enterprise Fund arranged an additional $1 million in funding for business leasing and supported the largest aquaculture company in Uzbekistan; over 16 million hatchlings were released and over 1,000 tons of fish were harvested.

The USG supported economic research by think-tanks, universities and other entities. Major research topics included the impact of World Trade Organization accession on the agricultural sector, strategies for increasing exports of fruits and vegetables, and reforming the simplified tax. The USG trained journalists in market economics for journalists, which significantly improved the quality and accuracy of local reporting on economic reform. The USG also supported quarterly publication of the Uzbekistan Economy Review, which provided valuable statistics and analysis. With one exception, the USG-supported microfinance institutions and credit unions posted robust growth rates ranging from 70% to over 200% during 2006. These growth rates reflected the vast unmet demand for small and micro loans in the country.

In 2006, local partners in Karakalpakistan rehabilitated and extended the drinking water delivery system to an additional 10,000 residents using USG-provided piping and tools, heavy equipment and work vehicles. USG assistance in agriculture strengthened 23 water user associations as a means of improving water management at the farm level.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Due to USG support, local leaders within the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector were prepared to continue the web-based trade network when USG assistance ended.

As a result of USG-supported accountant training, the Ministry of Finance issued a regulation requiring all auditors to pass the CIPA Financial Accounting exam. The USG assistance to private sector development improved the competitive advantage of SMEs. This fostered enterprise efficiency, economic growth and integration of the economic sector in Uzbekistan. In 2006, USG-assisted credit unions demonstrated financial self-sustainability. Their net worth, calculated in accordance with the Basel Capital Accord principals, as total amount of shares and disclosed reserves to earning assets, increased 22%, much higher than the Uzbek banking sector.

USG efforts to support water users associations resulted in improved irrigation on over 62,500 hectares of land in four regions, directly benefiting more than 183,000 residents across four regions.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Economic Growth. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator - Private Sector Share of the GDP - In Percent. Source: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Transition Report 2004.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 Percentage

CY 2005 Percentage

CY 2006 Target

45%

45%

45%

30.7%



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator remained constant in CY 2005. The USG sponsored programs that provided financing to rural, small and medium sized enterprises improved the viability of the private sector, as did programs focused on agricultural development. The USG opened new doors for the private sector, affecting the quality and quantity of private enterprises. Unfortunately, these efforts have been offset by GOU policies, which drove the country further away from a market economy.

Performance Indicator - Net Foreign Direct Investment, in millions of U.S. dollars. Source: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Transition Report 2005.

CY 2002 Baseline

CY 2004 FDI

CY 2005 FDI

CY 2006 Target

$65

$187

$250

$250



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator improved in CY 2005. USG impact on foreign direct investment in 2006 was minimal. The investment climate worsened, especially for U.S. and EU-owned companies. Many Western investors left Uzbekistan either voluntarily or under pressure from the GOU. There is evidence of increased investment by Chinese, Indian, and Russian firms.

Investing in People

Social services, especially health and education, remained critically under-funded. The GOU became even less receptive to developing joint solutions with donors. Low salaries for teachers and health workers continued to create inequities in public services, which were driven largely by informal payments rather than by need. USG-funded technical assistance, still highly regarded at the ministerial level, continues to inform national health programs and policies, particularly in health financing, maternal-child health, and Global Fund programs. Tuberculosis (TB) cure rates remained low, while the threat of multi-drug-resistant infection continued to grow. Under-five mortality rates remained high due to sub-standard prenatal care, poor nutrition, and inadequate treatment of early childhood illnesses. The prevalence of high-risk behaviors among HIV/AIDS vulnerable groups showed no improvement between 2004 and 2005, and HIV infection rates remained high. More children have been infected with HIV through contaminated blood and medical instruments than through maternal-child transmission. The GOU's lack of political will to reform policy and rebuild the agricultural infrastructure, on which almost half of the population depends, led to increased environmental degradation.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

U.S. assistance priorities in the health sector were to: improve financing, management, and the overall quality of primary care services; reform health policies in order to bring maternal-child and reproductive services into line with international practices; and improve surveillance and control of key infectious diseases, including TB, HIV/AIDS, vaccine-preventable diseases, and pandemic influenza. U.S. assistance priorities in the education sector were to develop interactive and learning methodologies, train teachers to utilize the new methodologies, train school principles in management, and increase community involvement in local schools. U.S. assistance priority in the environmental sector was to promote the understanding that a healthy environment is necessary for healthy economic development and a healthy society.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

USG assistance to reduce drug demand provided peer education, counseling, alternative activities and outreach to at-risk youth, prisoners, sex workers, and drug users. The USG also trained prison staff in prevention and trained civilian staff in treatment readiness and rehabilitation. The USG supported efforts to reform policy, inform vulnerable populations on prevention, and improve the quality of HIV/AIDS services. The USG performed sentinel surveillance of HIV prevalence and behavior, trained laboratory staff in diagnosis and case management of HIV and TB, and supported the Asian Development Bank's blood safety project.

USGprogramsidentified best practices forimplementing World Health Organization (WHO) standards, managing HIV-TB co-infection, treating drug resistant TB, maintaining adequate drug supplies, and improving TB program supervision and surveillance. USG assistancestrengthened maternal, child, and reproductive health services; the USG trained service providers in evidence-based prenatal, perinatal and postnatal care, reproductive health, infection prevention, and management of early childhood illness. Application of the international live birth definition enabled accurate assessment and reduction of infant mortality. A multi-sectoral working group led national policy initiatives to upgrade crucial legislation on infection prevention, safe motherhood, pediatric care, and reproductive health.

The USG provided technical assistance onmanagement reform for urban clinics, supported implementation of a national rural primary care reform model, developed evidence-based clinical training programs for nurses and doctors, worked to bring medical education up to international standards, and built consensus on a national quality improvement strategy. The USG also helped community nurses to conduct seminars for community health groups on basic health topics. The USG assisted Uzbekistan to implement the WHO's "Stop TB Strategy" and preparation of the national HIV/AIDS response plan.

In January 2006, the GOU prevented USG-supported education activities from working directly with teachers and children. However, the USG continued to assist in education finance reform and Uzbekistan's new World Bank-financed program in basic education will also utilize resources and methodologies developed by the program.

OUTPUTS

The USG provided HIV prevention literature to 36,915 persons, including at-risk youth, sex workers, and their clients. The program also trained more than 500 health professionals and NGO representatives in dual HIV/TB infection, anti-retroviral therapy and monitoring and evaluation, and organized World AIDS Day activities for more than 1800 youth and 100 local community activists. The USG's drug demand reduction project reached 52,214 persons, including at-risk youth, vulnerable women, sex workers, drug users and migrant workers. It also provided peer education, outreach, alternative activities, counseling and referral. The USG expanded HIV sentinel surveillance from two pilots to five, and conducted trainings for 120 transfusion specialists on blood safety.

USG-funded TB projects implemented pilot programs covering 11% of the nation's population, including a soon to be introduced national drug management system, and trained 12 master trainers in WHO standards of TB care. The USGimplemented electronic surveillance and case management for all new cases of TB, except in the penitentiary system, and its guidelines on smear microscopy were approved by the Ministry of Health.

The USGtrained 1,972 health workers in various aspects of maternal, child, and reproductive health, 159 Primary Health Care (PHC) providers in antenatal care, and 450 community representatives in community health topics. The USG also introduced the international live birth definition to 160 healthcare providers for region-wide application, and trained 33 supervisors in modern facilitative supervision concepts. CDC also trained more than 1000 specialists nationwide in live birth definitions. The USG created 393 community support groups with 1,609 members and recruited 1,105 community volunteers, who conducted health education sessions for 60,875 participants. A policy group produced a National Reproductive Health Strategy for 2006-2015 and an Action Plan for 2006-2011, an antenatal care decree, decrees on pediatric care at primary and secondary level hospitals, and a decree on live birth definitions.

The USGlaunched a one-month seminar preparing General Practitioner (GP) graduates to become GP trainers, mentored 65 GP trainees in "mini quality improvement projects", and persuaded the Ministry of Health to conduct its own trainings for 200 health managers in quality improvement techniques. The USG also added three Uzbek epidemiologists to the applied epidemiology training program.

In the education sector, restrictive GOU policies prevented the USG from working directly with teachers and children in January 2006. As a result, only 212 teachers were trained out of 900 targeted. In the environmental sector, environmental teaching aids were introduced in elementary schools.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

USG Investing in People programs continued to demonstrate that involving civil society in health care improves overall health. Investing in People programs improved stability and development by reducing the hopelessness caused by rampant drug addiction or widespread HIV and TB infection. Healthy people are more likely to educate themselves and participate in positive social activities. Healthy people with access to quality health care more often make good decisions and raise healthy, intelligent children without the shadow of serious illness in early life. Health and education are the keys to a world of information which is the doorway to security, prosperity and democracy. HIV, TB or other serious illnesses can have a devastating effect on a family's ability to contribute to its community's well-being.

Another important result of USG activities was increased community participation in local priority-setting, decision making, and problem solving. Nearly all projects gave communities the tools, knowledge, and initiative to identify and address the most important issues affecting their health and well-being. In previous years, USG programs worked primarily with NGOs to mobilize communities around health campaigns. In 2006 the USG worked primarily with local groups such as local governments, social service organizations, indigenous community organizations, parent-teacher associations, women's groups, visiting nurses, and volunteers. This shift in strategy involved the local population more in on-going activities that directly affected their community.

USG programs increased transparency and accountability of public services through on-site technical assistance. USG assistance leveraged relatively small investments in technical and management expertise to greatly extend the effectiveness and impact of major funding from international donors with limited in-country oversight capacity.

Reform of health care finance and management enabled rural clinics to raise their credibility with community members, resulting in fewer patients reporting unnecessarily to hospital-based specialists and fewer informal payments for care. Since local health facilities are one of the major venues in which rural residents interface with their government, interactions with health care providers significantly shape their perceptions on the credibility of government.

USG assistance was especially critical to Uzbekistan's implementation of the WHO's "Stop TB Strategy" and preparation of the national HIV/AIDS response plan. USG leadership in drug demand reduction activities also had an impact on Uzbekistani public health activities.

Restrictive GOU policies prevented the USG-supported education activities from working directly with teachers and children in January 2006. Nonetheless, training capacity built in Uzbekistan benefits neighboring countries, where teams of Uzbek trainers have worked intensively to spread the Interactive Teaching and Learning Methodology developed in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan's new World Bank financed program in basic education will also utilize these modules, and the USG continued to assist in education finance reform.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how USG assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Investing in People. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Under 5 Mortality. Ratings are based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 representing the best score. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Source: USAID "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006), drawing from World Bank, World Development Indicators 2005 and UNICEF, Social Monitor 2005. Found online at: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

CY 1997 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator remained stable in CY 2005. USG assistance focused on reducing early childhood mortality and the burden of infectious disease in pilot areas, in particular by supporting implementation of the WHO's protocols on management of childhood illnesses, antenatal care, management of labor and delivery, neonatal resuscitation, and breastfeeding. Moreover, USG programs have made significant achievements in having these best practices adopted as national policy. Pilot programs had positive health effects in post-partum complications and morbidity from diarrheal disease. However, nationwide implementation by local counterparts has not advanced far enough to change country level statistics. For this reason, the CY 2006 target remains the same.

Performance Indicator: Life Expectancy. Ratings are based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 representing the best score. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Source: USAID "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006), drawing from World Bank, World Development Indicators 2005 and UNICEF, Social Monitor 2005. Found online a:t http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

CY 1997 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

2.5

2.0

2.0

1.5



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator remained the same in CY 2004 and CY 2005, but declined from CY 1997 levels. The apparent decline in life expectancy is an alarming sign, and highlights growing health gaps between Central Asia and the rest of Europe, and between men and women. Most deaths in Uzbekistan are due to non-communicable diseases, and disproportionately affect men. Mortality patterns among infants and children do not explain the gap. Explanations for the striking trends in the region, and particularly the gender disparities, include increases in alcoholism, smoking, diet- and exercise-related conditions, suicides and traumatic injuries. Because USG assistance programs do not focus on non-communicable causes of premature deaths, the CY 2006 target is lower.

Peace and Security

Uzbekistan faced significant security challenges. The potential for Islamic extremism remained significant and supporters of terrorist groups were active in the region. Uzbekistan was a transit country for opiates originating in Afghanistan and there was a growing narcotics market in Uzbekistan. As a result, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS were on the rise. The GOU lacked the resources to effectively control its borders, leading to narcotics trafficking and threats of terrorist movement or weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation. Remnants of Soviet WMD and delivery system programs raised additional proliferation concerns. Uzbekistan's judiciary was not independent; corruption was rampant at all levels, and the outcome of court cases was rarely in doubt. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials relied on coerced confessions, based on which defendants were usually convicted even though prosecutors did not present any corroborating evidence.

The continued deterioration in the U.S.-Uzbekistan bilateral relationship in FY 2006 led to dramatically reduced security and law enforcement cooperation in comparison to previous years. The GOU unilaterally ended counterterrorism cooperation; military-to-military contacts were virtually nonexistent; the pace of counternarcotics cooperation slowed significantly; and, efforts to help the GOU reform its legal system were stymied. Law enforcement and nonproliferation assistance programs continued, but progress was limited, with increased difficulties in many areas.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

USG security-related assistance focused on supporting efforts to improve the GOU's counterproliferation capabilities, fostering of regional cooperation, improving border security in order to reduce trafficking of illegal narcotics and other hazardous, illicit items, and combating trafficking in persons

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

In FY 2006, the GOU was again not eligible for Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training funding because the Secretary of State did not certify Uzbekistan as having met the conditions required for certification pursuant to Section 578 of the FY 2006 Foreign Operations Assistance Appropriations Act. Department of Defense Central Command Counternarcotics Program funds were also not funded in 2006.

USGcounterproliferation programs assisted Uzbekistan to continue to eliminate the remnants of Soviet WMD and missile programs, placed WMD portal monitoring systems at selected international ports of entry within Uzbekistan, and provided communications upgrades to enhance timely reporting on possible WMD incidents. The USG assisted Uzbekistan to identify, secure, and dispose of nuclear and radioactive materials and equipment of proliferation concern, as well as to convert its primary nuclear research reactor to low-enriched uranium fuel.

The USGsupported a sensitive investigative unit (SIU) of 25 officers within the Ministry of Internal Affairs to conduct counternarcotics operations, as well as to promote regional coordination on counternarcotics efforts. The USG provided limited equipment and training to assist the GOU to secure its borders and interdict the illicit movement of people and goods, such as narcotics and dual use equipment and materials.

The USG provided training, along with various types of detection and security-related equipment to the GOU to ensure inter-operability and communications clarity between GOU agencies in the event of suspect material being located at one of the border crossings.

The USG's anti-trafficking program supported trafficking victims and conducted public awareness campaigns. The program opened a shelter for victims in Bukhara which, together with an existing center in Tashkent, provided shelter for victims, medical and legal support, psychological and social rehabilitation, and vocational training.

OUTPUTS

In a sharp decline from previous years, Uzbek security organizations vastly reduced their participation in all U.S. military cooperation programs. The Ministry of Defense marginally participated in the military-to-military cooperation program by participating in only two planning seminars and a single four-officer visit to the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. Furthermore, many graduates of U.S. military education and training programs were marginalized or even dismissed from their positions and/or military service because of their affiliation with U.S. programs. Only four Uzbek defense and security specialists participated in one seminar at the joint U.S.-German George C. Marshall Center in Germany.

Nonproliferation programs provided numerous pieces of equipment to assist in the safe and secure research of hazardous diseases. Laboratory renovation work was completed at six facilities; eight ports of entry received equipment upgrades; and work began at an additional eleven locations. The USG supported upgrades to systems communications, which will provide real-time alerts and reporting on WMD alerts USG assistance also facilitated the transfer of 63 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in spent fuel from Uzbekistan to Russia for secure storage.

In FY 2006,SIU counternarcotics investigations led to 69 arrests and the seizure of 679 kilograms of narcotics, $170,000 in cash, nine vehicles, and $70,000 in other assets. During FY 2006, programs provided 2,000 drug test kits and 16 specialized border inspection tool kits, along with associated training, to border posts throughout Uzbekistan and also provided specialized contraband enforcement training to 28 Uzbek Customs officers assigned to Tashkent International Airport. The USG financed continued maintenance of x-ray equipment previously provided to the airport and agreed to provide additional passport control-related computer equipment for the airport, spare parts for previously donated communications equipment, and infrastructure upgrades to four remote border posts.

The anti-trafficking program's public awareness campaigns worked closely with neighborhood and religious leaders to reach wider audiences; in FY 2006 more than 28,000 people received information on how to prevent trafficking in persons. The program also provided support to trafficking victims; the program's two shelters, in Tashkent and Bukhara, provided shelter and support to 87 repatriated trafficking victims. Overall more than 300 victims have received assistance.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

USG security and law enforcement assistance had minimal impact in FY 2006 as a result of the very poor bilateral relationship and the GOU's decision to generally disengage with the U.S. in these areas. The GOU continued to accept some training conducted entirely in Uzbekistan and equipment donations. However, it generally did not participate in activities held outside the country, or in activities it considered to be "non-operational," such as efforts to engage on legal and judicial reform, promote increased adherence to international standards and norms, or to fight official corruption. These programs experienced delays and, in some cases, significantly increased implementation difficulties due to the GOU's refusal to issue visas in a timely manner. Likewise, the programs provided benefits to the GOU in the form of equipment, training, or funding, but increasingly returned little in the way of increased cooperation, access to facilities or personnel, or information sharing.

In FY 2006, the GOU executed only four of 47 agreed-upon military-to-military events; it declined to participate in 25 of the events, and failed to respond in a timely manner in nine others, resulting in cancellation. It also refused $300,000 in HIV/AIDS prevention program laboratory equipment, $150,000 in computer modeling and simulation equipment, training, and software, and $450,000 in material for crime scene investigation work. The GOU also declined to nominate candidates for full-scholarships in U.S. military academies.

Likewise, the GOU declined to participate in training programs on munitions and dual use materials covered under Uzbekistan's export control laws, export control workshops, and commodity identification training. It refused follow-on airport contraband enforcement training in the U.S. and a laboratory project intended to help GOU forensic laboratories come closer to international standards for examining evidence.

Despite the difficulties, some USG programs, especially nonproliferation programs, continued to make limited progress. GOU participation in all programs was tightly controlled. USG programs increased the GOU's ability to detect and respond effectively to nuclear smuggling incidents, as well as outbreaks of dangerous pathogens. USG assistance mitigated a significant proliferation threat by removing highly enriched uranium in spent fuel from Uzbekistan to Russia. Counternarcotics assistance, although more limited now than in the past, also contributed to the fight against narcotics trafficking. The USG-supported SIU accounted for approximately 30% of all narcotics seized in Uzbekistan during FY 2006. Specialized equipment and training and infrastructure improvements provided by USG programs allowed the GOU to better control its borders and increased the likelihood that the GOU will detect and prevent the illicit movement of people and commodities.

The anti-trafficking program assisted more than 300 trafficking victims through direct assistance and reached many more through public information projects. The program helped shorten the repatriation process for victims from months to days.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how USG assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Peace and Security. In the chart, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The Embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," covering events from January 1 - December 31 of the subject year or last calendar year.

Performance Indicator: Global Trafficking in Persons Report country rankings. Tier 1 countries are those whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Tier 2 countries are those whose governments do not fully comply with the Act's minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Tier 3 countries are those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Source: U.S. State Department Global Trafficking in Persons Annual Report. Found online at: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Rank

CY 2007 Target

3

2

3

2



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator declined from CY 2005 to CY 2006. The GOU made no progress during FY 2006 on adopting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and no visible effort took place in 2006 to increase criminal penalties on traffickers. The GOU did not give a USG-funded, OSCE-implemented working group on TIP issues legal status; the working group's last meeting was early 2005. In CY 2006 the USG assisted trafficking victims and raised awareness on the dangers of trafficking-in-persons. The USG also sponsored shelters in Tashkent and Bukhara for trafficking victims. But this assistance is not likely to be sufficient to convince the GOU to make significant efforts to become compliant with the standards.

Performance Indicator: Corruption Perceptions Index- Measures how experts view the state of corruption in a country. The score relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption and ranges between 1 (highly clean) and 7 (highly corrupt). The data upon which this ranking is based comes from the previous calendar year. Drawn from Freedom House Nations in Transit. Found online at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.5



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: This indicator remained stable in CY 2005 and is expected to decline in CY 2006. Corruption, particularly bribery, remained endemic at all levels of Uzbek society. The GOU showed little commitment to correcting this situation in 2006 beyond occasional public statements and isolated, largely politically motivated, arrests of current and former government officials. The GOU earlier expressed an interest in anti-corruption training and other USG-funded assistance, but closed down the implementer and denied accreditation and visa for the embassy's resident legal advisor.

Humanitarian Assistance

Conditions for vulnerable persons in Uzbekistan did not improve in FY 2006. GOU spending on social welfare decreased and the GOU made it more difficult for many USG assistance providers to operate. While many USG-funded implementers were closed by the GOU, humanitarian aid continued to reach persons in need throughout Uzbekistan. The USG funded a small scale humanitarian program to meet the survival needs of groups outside GOU and other assistance programs through distributions of commodities and provision of basic services.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

Humanitarian programs in Uzbekistan continued to focus on improving the daily lives of the most vulnerable, often institutionalized, persons living in remote areas without even the most basic of necessities. The provision of medicines, clothing and adequate shelter remained the top priority for humanitarian efforts. The USG also sought to bolster local and USG disaster and crisis response capability. Wherever possible, the USG provided help directly to needy people of Uzbekistan, demonstrating U.S. concern for the welfare of Uzbekistan's people.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

The USG funded a program that provided free shipping to any registered U.S. charitable organization that wished to send humanitarian commodities to local partners in Uzbekistan. In FY 2006, this program funded the transport and distribution of eight containers of assistance including medicines, orthopedic supplies and prosthetic supplies. The USG also funded a small reconstruction project was implemented in the town of Ganjirovon-Tulaboy

OUTPUTS

Overall in FY 2006, the humanitarian program delivered 62 surface containers and 1 airlift of various humanitarian commodities valued at $23.31 million. The cost to transport, distribute and monitor these commodities was just over $1 million. Commodities delivered included, medicines, medical supplies, shelter items, clothing, shoes, food, blankets, linens, hygiene kits and school supplies.

The USG provided over $12 million in medicines, including Hepatitis A Vaccine for infants and sufficient quantities of Hepatitis B vaccine to vaccinate all Uzbek medical students. The small reconstruction project in Ganjirovon-Tulaboy provided running water and replaced the roof of the village polyclinic; this polyclinic serves approximately 5,800 local residents.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Humanitarian programs, while significantly impacting the day-to-day lives of recipients, are not designed to have long lasting impacts on recipient countries; however, some aspects of these programs assist in sustainable development. The provision of relief supplies and the renovation of facilities alleviated some of the burden placed on the GOU and allowed for resources to be focused on reforms that will enable the country to care for its own. Lastly, humanitarian programs can help the local government identify areas in need of improvement and act as a blueprint for how to begin solving social welfare problems.

FY 2006 Funds Budgeted for U.S. Government Assistance to Uzbekistan [PDF format]



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