PERFORMANCE REPORT HIGHLIGHTS: UZBEKISTANFY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
Despite challenges presented by the evolving political and socio-economic climate in Uzbekistan, in FY 2009, the United States reengaged with the government on military-to-military support, and provided assistance to prevent transnational crime, enhance human rights and democratic principles, improve health and educational outcomes, and strengthen economic growth. The long-term priorities for U.S. foreign assistance in Uzbekistan rest upon regional peace and stability, respect for human rights and democratic ideals, a healthy and educated populace, and a prosperous economy. Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $8.56 million*
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2009, 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 $3.44 million in FY 2009.)Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of FocusPeace and Security
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Governing Justly and Democratically
- Provided commodity identification training to prevent proliferation of sensitive commodities through both computer based instruction and examination of dual-use products to Customs, Interior Ministry and Border Guard personnel.
- Supported various border security-related training attended by Uzbek officials, including the Department of Energy International Nonproliferation Export Control Program Technical Expert Working Group, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency course, “Countering the proliferation of WMD through enhanced border security,” and International Border Interdiction Training presented by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Helped the Government of Uzbekistan’s Customs Service establish a canine training center for drug interdiction, and funded participation by Uzbeks Customs officers in a conference in Kazakhstan on the use of canines by customs officials. This was the first event of its kind in Central Asia and helped to establish working level contacts among customs officials in the region.
- Funded three competitive U.S.-Uzbek research projects, which engaged former weapons scientists in civilian research.
- Facilitated greater cooperation between NGOs and local officials as called for by the new anti-trafficking law and the National Trafficking in Persons Action Plan. Assistance also facilitated NGO cooperation with Regional Women’s Committees, Makhalla Committees and law enforcement bodies in forming inter-agency working groups to combat trafficking. Increased the Uzbek public’s awareness of trafficking related issued through a series of informational announcements on TV, radio, in newspapers and even in the form of a theater play. Through ten NGO partners in nine regions conducted over 630 awareness events (trainings, workshops and seminars) reaching nearly 50,000 people. Projects also assisted 763 trafficking victims and provided information and support to 14,617 callers on USG-funded trafficking hotlines.
- Trained 12 heads of Counter-Trafficking Units in the regions, who are now able to conduct their own trainings for their staff members, thus ensuring project sustainability independent of foreign assistance.
- Trained 1,300 law enforcement officers, and strengthened their capacity in the field of investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases and also providing assistance to trafficking victims. They also were trained how to use referral mechanisms when dealing with trafficking victims and how to carry out prevention work among the population.
- Provided a seminar on forensic medicine in which the Government of Uzbekistan invited 72 professionals from across the country, which included investigators, judges and forensic personnel. For the first time, representatives of the Ministry of Health forensic laboratories, the Office of the General Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Supreme Court met in one conference room. All attendees began to have a common understanding of the utility of forensic pathology and other forensic evidence in various types of criminal cases.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
Investing in People
- Trained 180 public defenders, prosecutors and judges on the implementation of habeas corpus legislation.
- Supported the Association of Advocates Tashkent City Branch Clinic’s efforts to train 31 law students, and 252 clinicians and practicing attorneys on how to effectively represent clients. Conducted regional professional development workshops for 800 attorneys, supported one professional exchange, and launched a trial monitoring program.
- Supported civic groups to monitor and respond to new and existing legislation affecting NGOs, while building their responsiveness to public needs. Strengthened locally-based issue groups (e.g. housing associations) and worked to expand citizen participation in low-level governance structures and activities. Grants to organizations focused on bolstering the rights of people with disabilities, educated disabled persons about their rights, improving integration of disabled persons into workspaces and educational institutions. A USG supported advocacy campaign led to a number of positive results in the field of disabled rights including: Uzbekistan becoming a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities; moving forward the current draft of the shadow report for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and preserved favorable tax structures for the disabled.
- Sponsored a two–day conference on social partnerships, resulting in 43 suggestions for legislative improvements which were submitted to the Ministry of Justice for consideration. If adopted, these changes would eliminate inconsistencies and deficiencies in current NGO legislation.
- Supported a satellite feed of Central Asian-related social, political and documentary programming for individual viewers with satellite dishes. The program increased the amount of objective news and information available in Uzbekistan and the region. Five series shown on the satellite were either originally produced or translated into Uzbek.
- Provided guidance to registered political parties on developing platforms to address citizen concerns and conducting campaigns to engage voters in advance of the December 2009 parliamentary elections.
- Provided training in practical advocacy skills to a core group of participants on the following topics: juvenile justice training, bar association development in Central Asia, and legal mechanisms for protecting gender rights in criminal and administrative cases. As a part of this training series, approximately 90 professionals including advocates, prosecutors, and judges received training on the changes in criminal law and procedure in the nations of Central Asia.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Suggested changes to tuberculosis (TB) reporting forms that were adopted by the Ministry of Health and integrated into the national data collection plan. Trained TB volunteers on modern approaches and methods of information collection. Advised the government on improvements to its National TB Program incorporating international standards.
- Supported a joint effort by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (GFATM) and the World Bank to finance HIV surveillance and train community leaders and general practitioners on HIV prevention. Assisted Uzbekistan in identifying legislation that hinders progress in HIV prevention and worked with the Uzbek government to amend obstructive policies and procedures.
- Changes in Ministry of Health leadership and the government’s decision to require partner organizations to register, both created some uncertainty and difficulty in implementing projects.
- Supported general practitioner (GP) faculty development and ongoing upgrades to the GP curriculum. Changes to the major chronic cardiovascular and respiratory conditions short-term curriculum for GPs were accepted and incorporated into classes organized by the Institute for Advanced Medical Education across the country. Trained 50 health professionals and 20 medical school faculty on evidence based medicine (EBM), and updated EBM website with content and news of local, regional and worldwide relevance.
- Facilitated a number of major health reforms and activities including the nationwide roll-out of rural primary health care (PHC) per-capita financing, improved teaching methodology for undergrad and post-graduate medical education, and expansion of the patronage nurse training program. Quality improvement projects in Ferghana Oblast expanded from the three initial pilot sites to cover two thirds of PHC facilities in the entire oblast and three clinics in Tashkent oblast.
- Helped monitor over 80 facilities in six oblasts that previously received training in Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), identifying a number of areas for further improvement. Round tables were held in each oblast to develop strategic plans for future quality improvement activities. Hospital IMCI practices were further institutionalized when the training program became part of the undergraduate curriculum in all Uzbek Medical Institutes. In addition, as part of continuing medical education, over 500 health clinicians were trained in IMCI.
- Strengthened post partum and post abortion family planning services in three hospital maternity departments/wards in Ferghana Oblast.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Trained over 700 farmers, farm workers and agribusiness staff in accounting, strategic planning, plant pest identification, agronomic best practices, orchard pruning, cold storage management, fruit and vegetable drying, and post-harvest techniques. One-third of all trainees were women with a focus on drying fruits and vegetables. Assisted five agri-firms and five water user associations in Samarkand, Namangan, and Ferghana, to provide better services to their members through training and equipment.
- Provided funds to the National Plant Protection Service to produce the first Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safe Use Action Plan (PERSUAP) covering the pests and diseases of a dozen Uzbekistan agricultural commodities. The USG also supported training for farmers based upon the approved PERSUAP, resulting in the effective and safe treatment of a widespread grape mildew plight caused by increased rainfall in 2009.
- Established five demonstration plots (three grape and two stone fruit) to train farmers on improved agronomic practices. This resulted in dramatically increased production for grapes, peaches, and plums. The USG supported the participation of Uzbek farmers and agri-businessmen at food exhibitions in Russia, which resulted in over $1 million in new contracts for the 2009 harvest season.
In FY 2009, USG assistance:
- Was provided to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, orphaned children, and the disabled. Humanitarian programs leveraged significant contributions from partner NGOs, distributing donated medical supplies and non-medical assistance with a total fair market value of over $3.4 million.