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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
On 24 April 2009, eight grant agreements were signed between the World Bank and civil society organizations of Uzbekistan. This funding for the projects is provided from the Civil Society Social Development Fund and the Program itself is known more as “Small Grants Program”.
Activities supported by the CSF are provided to civil society organizations and intended to promote dialogue and dissemination of information; and enhance partnerships with key players in support of the economic and social development process. The overall aim for the CSF Program-2009 was promoting in-country debate on economic and social policy issues; encouraging measures designed to improve public services, transparency and public accountability. Activities focused on improving quality of live in rural areas received special consideration by the CSF Program-2009.
Loup Brefort, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan opened the signing ceremony. He noted that the topic of the CSF-2009 reflected the priority needs of the country where more than half of the population live in rural areas which usually receive less attention and less financing. That creates additional challenges to work and requires higher level of dedication. He praised the commitment and enthusiasm of people working for the common good.
During the event the recipients of the CSF-2009 financing informed about their projects and implementation plans and last year grantees shared the experience of working under the Program and the results of the projects. “We have not even expect that the project will be of such a success, - said Damira Tukhtasinova, Director of the Kalb Nuri NGO, working in Ferghana province, - we finished the first stage of the Project, which was conducting seminars, and are planning now the series of round tables.” She also added that such meetings of grantees, where they share knowledge and experience, help to overcome potential bottlenecks in implementation.
Mansur Makhsudov, the Coordinator of the SCF-2008 Project, which aimed at involving women in water management in Bagdad district of Ferghana province, said that they can see the results of their project even on the streets - people will not pass by seeing the tap with running water - they immediately close it or arrange for its repair. So results of the Project are evident as attitude of population is changing to more affective water use.
Eight CSOs became the winners of the CSF-2009 competition. They are: Public Association on Sustainable Use of Water Resources of Uzbekistan “Suvchi”, Business Women Association “Tadbirkol Ayol” (Tashkent province), Farmers Association of Karakalpakstan, NGO “Faol” (Tashkent), Akkurgan Community Association (Surkhandarya province, Sherabad district), NGO “Kelajak Nuri” (Namangan), NGO “Hamroh” (Andijan) and Cinema and Video Fans Association of Uzbekistan.
Social Development Civil Society Fund Program (CSF) (former Small Grants Program - SmGP) was created in 1983 to provide a way for the World Bank to promote dialogue and dissemination of information about international development outside its own operations. In Uzbekistan the Program is implemented since 2000 and it has financed more than 70 projects.