Jamshid Kuchkarov, Vice Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan, attended the opening ceremony of the 2021 Global Rural Development Forum in Beijing, on October 19, 2021.
Here is the full text of his speech at the forum:
Good morning , distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of the Forum for inviting us to this event. I would like to share Uzbekistan's view on one of the most pressing issues of today, poverty alleviation.
We always admire and learn from Chinese experience in reducing poverty and improving living standards. No wonder that China's achievements in poverty alleviation have been recognized by the UN
So, I am confident that this event will become an excellent platform for discussing the most effective solutions for ensuring inclusive, sustainable development, as well as strengthening our cooperation in this area.
Considering the fact that Uzbekistan is taking its first steps in poverty reduction, we set ourselves the task of studying international experience in this direction.
Obviously one of the main partners in this area has become the P.R. China, in particular the International Poverty Reduction Center in China whose advanced experience is widely used in our country. During the short period, significant results have been achieved, including:
- a number of conferences, seminars, and trainings were organized by the Chinese side in order to exchange the experience and provide opportunities to study the country's best practices in the field of poverty alleviation;
- active cooperation has been established between the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the International Poverty Reduction Center in China;
- it was held a joint innovative virtual exhibition according to the initiative of the Chinese side, which is aimed to showcase the achievements of the two countries in the field of poverty reduction.
Also, within the framework of this forum, it is planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the International Poverty Reduction Center in China.
This document is aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation. The document stipulates that the parties will carry out work to exchange experiences, opinions, and ideas to reduce poverty, as well as implement pilot projects in the regions of Uzbekistan, based on the best Chinese practices in poverty alleviation.
As a result of the global pandemic in 2020 low-income and informally employed citizens were in the risk of falling into poverty.
Accordingly, targeted measures to for poverty alleviation were needed. Consequently, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Н.Е. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev raised the issue of poverty reduction to a state political task.
The first step was to create an institutional base in the country. In particular, a Center for poverty reduction under the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction was created and active cooperation with international institutions was established in this area.
In addition, in a short period of time, 14 experts were involved from such reputable international institutions as the UN, UNDP, WB, EBRD, ADB etc.
Together with international experts, several very important conceptual documents were drafted. These documents determine the priority areas of effective mechanisms for poverty reduction in the medium and long-term period:
- Strategy for Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2021-2030;
- Methodology for calculating the Minimum Consumer Expenditures of the Population.
Also, in order to provide targeted support to low-income families, 3 tools that successfully adopted in world practice have been introduced in the country:
Firstly, active work is carried out on formation of initial capital to create a stable source of income for socially vulnerable groups of the population;
Secondly, special attention is paid to improving the quality of human capital;
Thirdly, we started to provide to low-income families direct financial and non-financial assistance.
In addition, in order to automate and ensure transparency in the provision of social assistance and support, we are introduced the Information System "Unified Register of Social Protection".
This system is designed to combine all social services provided by the government into a single platform.
Also, we have successfully launched automated program saxovat.argos.uz which is aimed to systematically and transparently provide financial and non-financial support to low-income families in the period of pandemic.
To date, a special list has been created in which more than 2 million members of 595.9 thousand families have been included. Each family is provided with targeted social support, as well as material and non-material assistance. In particular, the families included in this list are allocated funds for the purchase of school supplies and seasonal clothing for children under the age of 18.
In addition, this year we successfully introduced a unique system of work at the mahalla level. This system provides for targeted work at the level of mahallas with a high level of unemployment, study and implementation of mahallas’ “points of growth”, development of entrepreneurship, increase in income and purchasing power of the population.
This system immediately showed its high efficiency, for example, for the reporting period, 338 thousand new jobs were created, while 658 thousand people were provided with employment and a constant source of income.
Also, in order to provide comprehensive support to the population, the list of activities of self-employed citizens was increased from 24 to 68. As a result of the taken measures at the end of the reporting period, the number of new self-employed citizens increased by 537 thousand.
In the course of bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and China, it was studied that, and in the example of developing countries, an effective method of poverty alleviation is to ensure stable economic growth.
Consequently, Uzbekistan is currently pursuing a policy aimed at ensuring macroeconomic stability, positive economic growth and increasing human capital in order to protect the population in the period of post pandemic.
At the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency the President of Uzbekistan, Н.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, emphasized the goal of Uzbekistan to become one of the Upper middle-income countries by 2030.
In addition, as the Head of the country noted, this intention is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 (SDGs).
It is worth noting that in 2015, Uzbekistan committed itself to implement the SDGs until 2030, developed at the initiative of the United Nations.
Achieving these goals will undoubtedly be the key to ensuring economic growth, which in turn will lead to a gradual poverty reduction in the country.
In general, most of the reforms carried out in the country in recent years mainly serve to achieve the SDGs:
- improving and increasing the level, quality and coverage at all stages of education and healthcare system (3-4 SDGs)
- improving the business environment, supporting entrepreneurship and formal employment (8 SDGs);
- measures to attract investment and develop innovation (9 SDGs);
In conclusion, I would like to underline that we are facing new challenges, new risks but also new opportunities.
This forum gives an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues and solutions related to Poverty Alleviation.
I would like to thank very much the Chinese government and other partners for organizing this event.
Let me stop here. Thank you!