The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Haruhiko Kuroda today signed loan agreements on rural housing, railway electrification, electricity metering, and water supply and sanitation for a total amount of $508 million.
Mr. Kuroda signed the agreements with ADB Governor and First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov at a signing ceremony held in Tashkent.
ADB extended $100 million to upgrade a key railway in Uzbekistan which will improve regional connectivity along a vital transit route, cut transport costs, and stimulate local trade. ADB approved the loan for the Railway Electrification Project last September, which will finance the electrification of a 140-kilometer stretch of railway between Marakand in Samarkand province and Karshi in Kashkadarya province. The railway is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 6 that runs north to south, linking Europe, through Central Asia, to the Middle East and South Asia.
Also last September, ADB approved a first tranche payment of $200 million under the $500 million Housing for Integrated Rural Development Investment Program, which will help Uzbekistan access housing finance for moderate to low-income rural households, to support improved living standards and accelerate development in rural communities nationwide.
Other loans signed covered water supply and sanitation, and advance electricity metering that will help increase the financial viability of the power sector in Uzbekistan and improve energy efficiency.
Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995, and to date has received over $2.8 billion in loans and $45.9 million in grant technical assistance. In 2011, ADB approved seven loans totaling $978 million; a $200 million credit guarantee; and $1 billion in multitranche financing facilities.