Pursuing Development Goals in Uzbekistan
Over the last decade, Uzbekistan’s economy has grown steadily and has made good progress in lifting people out of poverty.
The World Bank Group has been a long-term partner to Uzbekistan, providing technical advice on how to improve the country’s economic and financial management. Our engagement strategy focuses on three priority areas: private sector growth, agricultural competitiveness and modernization, and improved public service delivery.
We are helping the country to improve its business environment, increase private sector investments, enhance public service delivery, and move towards a market-based agriculture system.
With improvements in productivity, Uzbekistan’s agriculture sector has considerable potential to boost growth and become a critical source of rural employment and an important driver of poverty reduction. To promote this transition, the World Bank has been actively supporting the diversification of agricultural production beyond cotton and wheat into other high value crops such as fruit and vegetables, and livestock. World Bank projects in the country focus on increasing the efficiency of irrigation infrastructure, promoting more sustainable management of land and water resources and improving labor practices. To this end we have been working closely with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to put in place a robust labor monitoring program.
The ILO has monitored the implementation of government commitments and measures against child and forced labor in Uzbekistan, and in its report on February 1st, 2017, the ILO stated that “no incidences of child and forced labor were identified with regard to World Bank-supported agriculture, water, and education projects.” Both in 2015 and 2016, ILO monitors found no systematic use of child labor, and the organization stated the practice has “phased-out” and has become “socially unacceptable”. The World Bank Group does not condone forced labor in any form and takes reports of such incidents seriously.