World Bank approves loan of $82 million to improve water supply in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Dec.14 /Trend D.Azizov/

The Board of Directors of the World Bank approved a loan in the amount of $82 million to Uzbekistan to improve the water supply in the two districts of Bukhara region, the bank said.

The project aims to improve the coverage, quality and efficiency of water supply in Alat and Karakul districts of Bukhara region, where about 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas.

About 220,000 people will have access to improved water supply as a result of the project, the bank stated.

The bank said the project will increase the capacity, efficiency and accountability of public services to ensure the drinking water supply, improve the performance of local government in this area, as well as promote human development and social integration by improving health.

As previously reported, in early December, the Government of Uzbekistan approved a program for the development of drinking water supply and sanitation, and comprehensive measures to improve the efficiency of water and wastewater organizations for 2013-2015. The total cost of the program - 1.44 trillion soums.

In particular, it is planned to construct and reconstruct 4.18 thousand kilometers of water networks to improve the centralized water supply to 1.6 thousand villages in the frame of the program. The program will bring piped water coverage in rural areas up to 85-90 per cent.

Funding for the program is provided through the state budget and foreign investments in the amount of $378.7 million (792.52 billion soum).

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992.

The bank provided loans worth $1.46 billion to Uzbekistan since 1995 for projects in the area of ​​privatization, financial sector development, modernization of agriculture, energy, improvement of social infrastructure, health and education.

Currently, the total liabilities of the bank on ongoing projects in Uzbekistan are $812.5 million.

According to the strategy of partnership with Uzbekistan in 2012-2015 approved by the bank the World Bank intends to provide financial assistance to the country in the implementation of 15 investment projects in energy, transport, irrigation, petrochemical, textile, agro-processing and the quality of medical services for a total of $1.3 billion.

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