Uzbekistan Boosts Economic and Social Reforms with Additional World Bank Support

Uzbekistan Boosts Economic and Social Reforms with Additional World Bank Support

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $400 million Development Policy Operation (DPO) loan to support the Government of Uzbekistan’s implementation of important economic and social reforms that will accelerate the country’s transition to an inclusive and competitive market economy.

The DPO comprises a low-interest concessional loan of $250 million, repayable over 30 years, and a non-concessional loan of $150 million at market interest rates, repayable over 12 years.

Through this DPO, the World Bank will provide additional financing and technical assistance to the Government of Uzbekistan to implement a wide range of reforms. These include further liberalizing the wheat market, improving the management of state-owned enterprises, strengthening accountability and oversight of public spending and debt, reducing gender discrimination in the labor market, expanding social assistance payments for the poor, and enhancing economic opportunities and social protection for women and persons with disabilities.

“Uzbekistan continues to be a strong reformer in its transition to a more open and inclusive market economy,” says Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “To meet the government’s ambitious goals of halving the poverty rate by 2026 and becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030, the country needs to grow faster. This will require more private sector jobs and more economic opportunities for all citizens— especially women, youth, and persons with disabilities. Reforms supported by this DPO provide a strong foundation for achieving these goals and improving citizens’ lives.”

The World Bank Group remains committed to helping Uzbekistan maintain its reform momentum. In consultations with the government, civil society, and the private sector, it is developing a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) that will guide the Group’s financial and technical support to Uzbekistan during 2022-2026. The CPF is expected to be finalized by mid-2022 and will be aligned with the government’s development strategy for the next five years.

The World Bank has provided extensive support to the implementation of the government’s 2017-2021 Development Strategy. Its country program comprises 26 projects in areas such as economic management, agricultural modernization, water resource management, health, education, potable water and sanitation, energy, transport, social protection, urban and rural infrastructure, the national innovation system and tax administration, and the government’s response to the health, economic, and social implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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