By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Prosperous Villages Project in Uzbekistan, the WB reported in its official website.
The project will improve the quality of basic infrastructure, including schools, roads and internet service, with village residents deciding collectively which priorities will receive funding.
World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan Hideki Mori said the project will directly help people in rural villages through investments in their communal assets and services.
“Furthermore, it will help strengthen the partnership between the villagers and the Government by ensuring the active participation of villagers-both men and women, old and young-in decision making on matters that have a direct impact on their day-to-day lives,” he said.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is also expected to provide financing to the project through $82 million loan to the Government of Uzbekistan.
Approximately 300 villages in Andijan, Ferghana, Namangan, Jizzakh, and Syrdarya regions of Uzbekistan will receive funding for community-level projects. In each of these villages, community members will collectively decide on the types of projects based on village priorities and resources.
The Government plans to implement this new World Bank-financed project in tandem with Prosperous Village Program. The World Bank project uses a community-driven development approach which emphasizes decision making by community members. The project applies the World Bank’s strict environmental and social safeguards to protect workers’ rights and village residents’ property rights.
Participating rural communities may select small-scale rehabilitation or construction projects of facilities including kindergartens, schools, health clinics, tertiary roads, street lighting, bus terminals and stops, and even antennas for wireless internet. They can also make improvements to water supply and sanitation or solid waste management among others.
The World Bank supports Uzbekistan through 23 projects totaling $4.1 billion, and also through a comprehensive program of analytical and advisory services.
These activities contribute to the country’s economic growth, through the implementation of market-oriented reforms, and improvements in agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, social protection, water supply and sanitation services, and urban and rural development.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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