When aid mattersDec 19, 2014
Uzbekistan attracted aid funds totalling USD 860 million during 2008-2013. For the last five years, the amount of technical assistance flowing into the country increased three fold and made USD 200.1 million in 2013.
It is worth noting that Healthcare, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources Management remain leading sectors to mobilise donor funds with average annual growth rate of aid funds standing at 31%.
Today, increasing economic integration globally has placed considerable emphasis on donor funding. Developing countries aiming at enhancing their economic capacity, implementing structural transformations, and accomplishing consistent reforms consider the aid significant socio-economic tool for achieving these aims.
Moreover, technical assistance is a significant tool not only for achieving the socio-economic goals but also is a key to build sustainable relationships based on trust and partnership between Government and development partners. These were the key principles behind the high-level Government-Donor community meeting, which took place on December 19 of 2014, on further development of cooperation with the donor community and improving the effectiveness of grants in Uzbekistan.
Opening the event Ms. G. Saidova, Minister of Economy of Uzbekistan, noted that the meeting was important for the development of the country and shared the strategic outlook for the country. As per outlook, Uzbekistan is striving to become a higher middle-income country by 2030 and achieving this goal requires significant investments in human capital. In addition to serving as a dialogue platform the meeting also helped to define the priorities for 2015. Particularly, while speaking about the partnership with donor community and appreciating every support Ms. Saidova underlined healthcare and educations sectors as priorities of the Government towardsimproving human potential. Besides, improving livelihoods in rural areas through increasing the effectiveness of land resources and other means as well as mobilizing resources to Aral Sea region remain on Government agenda.
After the outline of government priorities Mr. S. Priesner, UN resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, emphasised the importance of alignment, results orientation and mutual accountability of donor support in working towards established priorities. In addition to government-donor mechanisms of cooperationMr. Priesner briefly spoke about the effectiveness of donor-donor cooperation through such platforms as UNDAF and UN Joint Programme.
A speech by Mr. R. Fuderich, UNICEF representative in Uzbekistan, exemplified the effectiveness of donor-donor cooperation for supporting the country strategies through the established Local Education Group on implementing Education Sector Plan. Thanks to the efforts of the group that includes several donor agencies alongside key national partners, the country, inter alia, received USD 49.9M of aid funding from Global Partnership of Education.
Alignment to national priorities as well as further commitment to support the country’s development were key messages of presentations of Mr. T. Konishi, Head of Uzbekistan Resident Mission in Uzbekistan, and Mr. T. Brezina, Head of GIZ office in Uzbekistan.
Presentations of development partners as well as government ministries boosted the significance of the meeting. Discussions followed the presentations and addressed the issues in aid coordination system of the country. Participants of the meeting organised by joint efforts of the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan and UNDP Aid Effectiveness Project included all international and foreign donor institutions, the diplomatic corps, and state agencies represented on senior management level.
At the end of the meeting the participants noted the need for holding similar meetings annually to further strengthen the dialogue between the government and development partners.