International grant agreement signed
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) – On 27 July 2021, the Ministry for Support of Mahalla and Family of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed a grant agreement with international partners providing funding for the implementation of the project "Expanding Economic Opportunities for Rural Women in Uzbekistan".
For these purposes, the Government of Japan is providing a grant of more than US$2.7 million. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Mahalla and Family Support with the assistance of the World Bank in remote villages of Jizzakh and Ferghana regions.
The goal of the project "Expanding Economic Opportunities for Rural Women in Uzbekistan" is to develop entrepreneurial skills among women living in remote rural areas of the country and are included in the "women’s notebook", as well as to provide employment and expand economic opportunities for their families.
In recent years, Uzbekistan has been implementing major reforms aimed at creating equal rights and opportunities for women and men, ensuring equal participation of women in the management of public and state affairs, their social and legal support, as well as protection from oppression and violence.
For the purposes of socio-economic support and targeted work with women, a “women’s notebook” system was introduced. Within its framework, databases were created to identify, solve and track the problems of unemployed women in need of social, economic, legal, psychological support, the development of relevant knowledge and vocational training.
So, for the development of entrepreneurship, more than 224 thousand women received preferential loans totaling 6.9 trillion soums. To support this activity, the “Khalk Bank” was involved and Centers for Women’s Entrepreneurship were established in 14 regions of the country.
Women account for over 30 percent of commercial bank clients who receive microloans. Thus, more than 172 thousand women received microfinance for a total of 4.9 trillion soums. As a result, the number of women starting their own business has increased by 45 thousand people a year.
Particular attention is paid to the improvement of villages in remote rural areas, the development of their basic social infrastructure, as well as poverty reduction by supporting the economic activity of rural women. Today, more than 1.5 million women work in various sectors of agriculture. Women run 20 percent of businesses, as well as 7.3 percent of farms across the country.
Uzbekistan is expanding cooperation with international organizations in order to provide greater socio-economic support for women. Another example of such cooperation is the project “Expanding Economic Opportunities for Rural Women in Uzbekistan”.
A grant agreement for the implementation of this project was signed today with the participation of the Minister for Support of the Mahalla and Family Rakhmat Mamatov, the Head of the World Bank Office in Uzbekistan Marco Mantovanelli and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Uzbekistan Yoshinori Fujiyama.
The project will be funded by a grant of US$2.728 million from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF). It will allow the implementation of the relevant project activities in 2021-2024. in rural areas in Furkat, Sokh, Yazyavan and Kushtepa districts of Ferghana region, as well as Yangiabad, Bakhmal, Farish and Zaamin districts of Jizzakh region.
The project consists of two stages. In the first phase, 3,500 women living in the above-mentioned areas and in need of social protection will receive training to develop knowledge in the field of financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.
During the second stage, women will be involved in entrepreneurial activity and will be able to implement 350 business projects in various directions. For their implementation, grants totaling $ 1.5 million will be provided. Business projects that cannot receive grant support will be assisted in obtaining funding from local commercial banks.
The project will further strengthen partnerships between government agencies, public organizations, business entities and makhalla citizens’ gatherings in their work to support women in need of social protection.