Swiss Cooperation in Uzbekistan
The Swiss cooperation with Uzbekistan began in 1992 when Uzbekistan joined the Swiss-led constituencies at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The implementation of the first Swiss projects in Uzbekistan started soon after opening of the Swiss Embassy in Tashkent in 1993. This assistance was basically related to co-financing the Aral Sea Basin program of the World Bank. Through the nineties, the scope of cooperation increased and in 2002, the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) was opened in Tashkent.
The bilateral framework Agreement "On Technical and Financial Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid" between Uzbekistan and the Swiss Confederation was signed on September 20, 2002. Since then, the SCO in Tashkent supports and monitors bilateral and regional projects on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Since Swiss assistance strongly concentrates on poorer countries, Uzbekistan is not a priority country; however, it remains a strategic partner, especially in the water management domain, which has a regional dimension.
Currently SDC and SECO support 3 bilateral projects in Uzbekistan and 5 projects are implemented regionally, where Uzbekistan is a recipient partner and donor. These projects encompass the following sectors:
water supply and sanitation (infrastructure);
water management and disaster risk management;
vocational education and training;
support to the cotton reform;
arts and culture.
Water Supply and Sanitation (Basic Infrastructure):
Objectives: access to affordable, reliable and sustainable services, as a basis for economic and social development.
- rehabilitating rural and urban infrastructure;
- supporting decentralized community management;
- establishing efficient and effective utility management;
- promoting legal reforms and policy dialogue in water supply and sanitation.
Ongoing projects in Uzbekistan: Syrdarya Water Supply Project
Water and disaster risk management:
Objectives: introduction of participatory, transparent and equitable system of water resources management in the Fergana Valley (and other regions in Uzbekistan)
- supporting the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management principles with a special focus on the irrigation sector in the framework of regional and bilateral interventions;
- strengthening the capacities of water users at the community level, Water Users’ Associations and canal management and the interaction between the water management hierarchies;
- developing the database for enhancing water and land use efficiency and effectiveness;
- promoting synergies between disaster risk preparedness, prevention and management.
Ongoing project in Uzbekistan: National Water Management Project.
Vocational Education and Training (VET):
Objectives: support the reform of the vocational educational sector in Uzbekistan through the development of synergies between educational process and labor market demands.
- improved cooperation of key Ministries and Agencies in the cycle “Demand-Training-Job Placement” for water-sector professions is in place;
- the training programme for two professions of the water supply sector is adopted and required specialists are trained both in the secondary specialized education system and the adult further education system.
Ongoing projects in Uzbekistan: Skills Development Project.
Support to the Cotton Reform:
Objective: The Multi Donor Trust Fund (MTDF) will support activities leading to socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable production of cotton in Uzbekistan.
- a number of trainings and workshop for capacity building and awareness raising is organised in the 5 regions of the project;
- the monitoring mechanism and the feed-back mechanism are in place and effective;
- regular policy dialogue meetings between the donors and the Coordination Council
Ongoing projects in Uzbekistan: Contribution to the Cotton Reform Multi-Donors Trust Fund of the World Bank