Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
August 17, 2005
U.S. Assistance to Uzbekistan -- Fiscal Year 2005
U.S. assistance programs in Uzbekistan focus on working with the people of Uzbekistan on democracy, human rights, micro-credit lending and agribusiness development, health and education reform, water use management, and community development. Funds are provided through technical assistance, training, and equipment, in addition to small grants to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and loans to small and medium enterprises. Grants to local organizations have been hampered by Government of Uzbekistan banking regulations that sometimes slow or prevent the transfer of funds.
Security, nonproliferation, narcotics smuggling, and law enforcement programs advance key U.S. interests by addressing improved treatment of suspects and detainees, trafficking in persons and weapons, and the proliferation of nuclear and biological materials and expertise. Assistance funds do not provide financial support to the Government of Uzbekistan.
As of the date of this fact sheet, the Secretary of State has not yet made a determination on whether the Government of Uzbekistan has made progress in areas of democratic and economic reform, as required for assistance to the central Government of Uzbekistan under Section 577(a) of the Fiscal Year 2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. The potential range of affected assistance programs that have been budgeted, including but not limited to Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs, total approximately $24 million in FY 2005 programs involving the central Government of Uzbekistan.
The estimated $91.6 million budgeted by all U.S. Government agencies for assistance programs in Uzbekistan in Fiscal Year 2005 is allocated roughly as follows based on information available as of the date of this fact sheet:
* Approximately $38.5 million of this total is to support Cooperative Threat Reduction programs to destroy and dismantle weapons of mass destruction sources and capacity.
Democracy programs in Uzbekistan focus on strengthening the institutions of civil society, supporting human rights, including religious freedom, and addressing the problem of torture by security forces, in an increasingly restrictive and difficult environment. Civil society centers provide training and technical assistance to indigenous NGOs. The program supports human rights through training, resource centers throughout the country, and a dialogue between officials of the Government of Uzbekistan and human rights defenders. Funding also supports two human rights law clinics, several legal assistance centers, and training for legal professionals. U.S. Government assistance seeks to improve citizen participation and transparency through community development, housing associations, and civic advocacy. Community development programs mobilize stakeholders to increase citizen participation and improve social conditions through small-scale infrastructure projects such as rehabilitating schools or irrigation canals. Print and broadcast media programs seek to strengthen independent media outlets, and provide basic information to Uzbek citizens. Anti-trafficking in persons programs focus on public awareness, law enforcement education, identification and protection of victims, and prosecution of perpetrators.
Training and exchange programs reach out to the next generation of Uzbek leaders and give them first-hand experience with the day-to-day functioning of a market-based, democratic system. Last year, the U.S. Government sent over 257 Uzbek citizens to the U.S. on academic and professional exchange programs. Since 1993, the U.S. Government has funded the travel of over 3,162 Uzbek citizens to the United States on these programs. The U.S. Government also promotes access to information through programs like the Internet Access and Training Program.
In an effort to counteract the deterioration of the basic education system, a program trains teachers in integrating critical thinking and learning techniques into curricula and teaching materials. Other program goals include increasing parent and community involvement, strengthening school administration, and improving school infrastructure.
The U.S. Government provides critical guidance for Uzbekistanís new model of healthcare delivery to improve access to care and quality of primary health care nationwide. A maternal-child health program raises community awareness and trains medical workers to assure healthy families and reduce complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood disease. Infectious disease surveillance, prevention and control programs work to stem the spread of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and other dangerous infections. Outreach to young people and groups at high risk of drug addiction and sexually-transmitted infection spreads knowledge about risky behaviors and positive lifestyle choices. American epidemiologists are improving clinical laboratory performance and introducing evidence-based medicine into medical education and clinical practice.
Market reform assistance focuses on small and medium enterprise (SMEs) development, microfinance, credit union development, and agribusiness development. A water userís association project focuses on increasing community participation in efficient water use and irrigation management systems. With the aim of raising peopleís living standards by improving regional economic cooperation and increasing regional trade, the U.S. also provides an international trade expert to help Uzbekistan with the long-term process of joining the World Trade Organization.
Security and nonproliferation assistance continues to focus on supporting military reform, improving Uzbekistanís counter-proliferation capabilities, promoting regional cooperation, and improving border security to help stop the flow of illegal narcotics, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and other illicit items through Uzbekistan. However, funding for two components of security assistance, Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET), was cut off in 2004 and 2005, and remain so, due to Uzbekistan's failure to meet its framework commitments on human rights and democratization.
With FY 2002 funds, the Aviation/Interdiction Project (A/IP) made all Uzbekistan Air Force aircraft NATO interoperable through communications upgrades. Our Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program and Aviation Interdiction Project continue to work with Uzbek export control officials, including customs, border security, and export-import officials to improve their export licensing regime, support weapons proliferation prevention capabilities, and prevent other illicit trafficking. Other essential nonproliferation assistance the U.S. provides to Uzbekistan includes funding to secure biological pathogens and to conduct joint research and disease surveillance activities with biological and chemical scientists. The U.S. funds Science Centers and Bio-Chem Redirect, and BioIndustry Initiative programs and works through the multilateral Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) to engage scientists in transparent, sustainable, cooperative civilian research projects. The U.S. also provides nonproliferation assistance to the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). The Department of Energy is helping to secure nuclear materials.
Law enforcement assistance programs seek to introduce Western methods and standards for criminal investigations and prosecutions, strengthen counternarcotics capabilities, and help reform and restructure the Prosecutorís Office and law enforcement agencies. Assistance promotes proper treatment of prisoners through prison service training and seeks to prevent the use of torture in the course of police investigations. Training provided to law enforcement and security personnel includes human rights awareness Participants are vetted with the Department of State to ensure we do not have information that they have participated in human rights violations.
Through humanitarian programs in Fiscal Year 2005 the U.S. Government paid to ship approximately $20 million in privately donated medicines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies, emergency shelter items, school equipment and supplies, food, and clothing to the most needy individuals, families, and institutions.
Approximately 120 Peace Corps Volunteers were serving in Uzbekistan in the areas of English education, Public Health, and NGO Development, until the program was suspended in June 2005 due to the Government of Uzbekistanís refusal to grant visas to volunteers and staff.