BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7
By Fakhri Vakilov - Trend:
The European Commission expects to provide 60 million euros to Uzbekistan as part of cooperation programs, as part of the 2019 Annual Action Program, representative of European Commission told Trend in an interview.
As the official noted the first is the Uzbekistan WTO Accession Program (5 million euros) which aims to contribute to Uzbekistan’s process to accede to the WTO by supporting the formulation and implementation of trade policies and regulations.
“Further, the program will help to provide technical assistance in the context of the negotiations for WTO accession and provide capacity building for both public and private sector stakeholders. The program is planned to be implemented with the International Trade Centre,” the official added.
According to representative, another one is the Skills Development for Employability in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan project (10 million euros).
“It aims to support skills development for the country's labor force in the field of sustainable, diversified and modernized agriculture. It is planned to be implemented with UNESCO,” the official stated.
The representative noted that the EU contribution to the UN-led Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan is the third project and is planned for the amount of 5 million euros as well. The objective of this multi-sectorial fund is to improve the environmental, social and economic situation in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan.
“The EU Budget Support to the Agriculture sector in Uzbekistan for 40 million euros is our last and largest program in Uzbekistan. It is also the EU’s first ever budget support operation in Uzbekistan,” the official stressed.
According to the representative, it aims to assist Uzbekistan’s Government in strengthening selected agri-food public services. The goal is to increase farm incomes and rural employment opportunities, enhance food security and ensure sustainable use of natural resources. EU budget support will be accompanied by a strong capacity building component.
The official added that the current Multi-annual Indicative Program (MIP) 2014-2020 for Uzbekistan (for a total of 168 million euros) is concentrated on rural development.
“It specifically focuses on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities, with the ultimate goal of poverty reduction and wealth creation in rural and remote communities, the improvement of quality of life, living standards and food security of people residing in isolated or sparsely populated areas, as well as the protection of natural resources,” the EU representative stated.
Moreover, the official added, new opportunities for extending cooperation beyond rural development are being pursued. Some of the fields of future EU intervention in Uzbekistan that could most accelerate the country's reform process are: good governance and rule of law; education and skills development; and agriculture/rural development and water management.
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