Since independence Uzbekistan has followed a path of gradual economic transition. While encouraging results have been achieved in controlling the budget deficit, managing inflation and producing sustained economic growth, the Government’s successes have come mainly at the expense of agricultural and small and medium enterprise (SME) development.
The main data on poverty in Uzbekistan derives from the 2001 Household Budget Survey. Based on the 2,100 calories poverty line, 27.5% of Uzbekistan’s population (6.8 million people) can be classified as poor in 2001. This data slightly declined to 26.2% in 2003. Approximately one third of all poor households are classified as extremely poor. 63% of the poor live in rural areas, indicating a disparity in the level of living standards in urban and rural areas. In recent years, this disparity has been increasing, while a decline in human capital stock and increases in unemployment, underemployment, low wages, and wage arrears have also been observed. Poverty reduction efforts must take each of these disparities into account, plus the challenges related to gender inequalities.
UNDP's support in the area of economic governance and poverty reduction focuses on:
Providing policy advice and building national capacities in key economic reform areas; and
Building sustainable institutions to conceive and implement initiatives on employment and poverty reduction.
UNDP's assistance aims to strengthen the Government's capacity to elaborate and pursue cross-sectoral policies. Interventions also focus on providing support at the regional level for the formulation of regional and local development strategies.
UNDP continues to forge partnerships at the local level with civil society organisations and the private sector to implement targeted demonstration programs for poverty reduction and employment generation. Focusing on the rural poor, services may include micro-finance, business advisory services or community development. Demonstration programs also target locally generated initiatives, facilitate cross-learning, and encourage the development of local networks and the up-scaling of local initiatives.
Most of the projects in this area are managed by Economic Governance Unit, contacts of which are available on the right side of this page. top