WB to Finance Regional Development in Uzbekistan
The World Bank (WB) Board of Directors has approved the assignment of a $ 100 million loan to Uzbekistan as part of the Medium-Size Cities Integrated Urban Development Project.
The funds will be allocated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), part of the WB Group.
“For the first time, the World Bank will finance an urban development project in Uzbekistan. The scheme is to help improve living conditions in the towns of the Bukhara, Tashkent and Namangan regions, and will also support the efforts of the national government aimed at the social and economic development of the regions,” said Hideki Mori, head of the World Bank Country Office in Uzbekistan.
The World Bank-supported project is expected to contribute to the development of urban infrastructure, public places and municipal services in the middle cities of Uzbekistan, in particular, in Kagan (Bukhara region), Chartak (Namangan region) and Yangiyul (Tashkent region). The total population of these settlements is 165 thousand people.
The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of central and local governments in the areas of urban management, infrastructure, municipal services, transport development, sustainable tourism, and partnerships with the private sector.
The experience gained in the course of project implementation in the above pilot cities will be used in developing the National Program for the Development of Medium-Size Cities in Uzbekistan.
Today, the World Bank funds the implementation of 19 projects in Uzbekistan totaling $ 3.4 billion to shore up economic and social development in the country. They include support for macroeconomic reforms, agriculture, the water and sanitation sectors, healthcare, education, energy, transport, and regional development.
In our country, medium-size cities with a population of 50 to 100 thousand people play the role of a base for economic development and serve the needs of large cities. More than 40% of the country’s urban population, or about 1.5 million people, live in towns with a population of less than 100 thousand.