Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, visited Uzbekistan on February 7-8. This was Ms. Tuck’s first visit to Uzbekistan since becoming regional Vice President in September last year. The visit focused on the World Bank’s ongoing partnership with Uzbekistan as well as priorities going forward. During the visit, Ms. Tuck held discussions with high-level government officials and visited a health project supported by the World Bank.
“We are pleased to see that Uzbekistan has demonstrated strong growth in the last several years, and that living standards of people in the country have clearly improved,” said Laura Tuck. “We appreciate our long-term cooperation with Uzbekistan, which aims to ensure that the growth is sustainable and its benefits are shared across the population.”
During the meetings with high-level government officials, Ms. Tuck reviewed the World Bank Group’s current Country Partnership Strategy with Uzbekistan for 2012-2015, and noted that its implementation is largely on track, including provision of analytical and advisory services and delivery of projects. She also discussed the World Bank’s cooperation with the government on the long-term national development vision “Uzbekistan Vision 2030”, aimed at helping the country move to upper-middle income country status. Issues of water and energy in Central Asia were also discussed.
While recognizing the government’s achievements in maintaining stable economic growth, sound fiscal management, and low level of external debt, Ms. Tuck also discussed issues where further progress is needed. “One of the areas where we would like to continue working with the government is greater openness and transparency, including better access to economic data,” said Ms. Tuck.
As part of the trip, Laura Tuck also visited one of the primary healthcare clinics in Tashkent that participated in the World Bank-financed Health II Project. This project, which aimed to improve the quality and overall cost effectiveness of healthcare services in Uzbekistan, helped to deliver new medical equipment to more than 2,000 rural health clinics and provide training for almost 4,000 general health practitioners. One of the most important achievements of the project is its contribution to the introduction of per capita financing for primary healthcare.
Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank’s mission in the country is to improve people’s livelihood by supporting economic reforms, contributing to the modernization of the country’s social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan. The World Bank’s current commitments to Uzbekistan amount to over US$1 billion.