Donors enhance coordination for education sector
TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (16 March 2006) ADB News Release – International donor agencies expressed their continuous support to the establishment of a Center at the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan (MOPE), a main function of which is to better facilitate coordination among donors at the 4th Donor Coordination Meeting in Education Sector on 15 March 2006 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and MOPE, the meeting participants discussed establishment of a Donor Coordination Center under ADB’s technical assistance (TA) on Effective Management of Investments and Reforms in Basic Education.
The Center would play an important role in coordinating the implementation of investment projects and attracting new investments to strengthen the content and quality of education in the country. It will be an effective institutional mechanism for ensuring that funding agencies complement each other, avoid overlapping and duplication of efforts. This will improve assistance impact in the spirit of Paris Declaration
TA for $400 000 was approved by ADB on 22 December 2005 and is financed on a grant basis by the Japan Special Fund, funded by the Government of Japan. It will be implemented over 2 years and is expected to produce three major outputs: (i) Establishment of an operational Coordination Center; (ii) development of MOPE’s capacity for effective management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of basic education investments and policies; and (iii) strengthened aid coordination.
The First Deputy Minister of Public Education, Mr. Rustam Akhlidinov and a Senior Portfolio Management Officer of ADB’s Uzbekistan Resident Mission co-chaired the meeting, attended by the representatives from the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID, Europe House, British Council, JICA, as well as French, PRC Embassies. The first such meeting, which laid the foundation for further actions in donor coordination, took place on 10 May 2005.
“I would like to express our strong confidence in the success of the Center,” said Lan Wu, TA Project Team Leader. “It will play a great role in helping MOPE to exercise a long-term leadership in planning and implementing the reform program and investment projects, including those funded by donors.”
To implement its National Program for Basic Education Development (NPBED) 2004–2009, the Government will require a total funding of $1.2 billion and will receive about $240 million from multilateral and bilateral development partners during that period. This significant funding from external development partners will place a high demand on the Government, particularly MOPE, to effectively manage projects and coordinate aid for maximum effectiveness.
ADB is the lead funding agency in education with two investment projects successfully completed, one program loan and three project loans under implementation, and a new project on information and communications technology in basic education approved in 2005. ADB has provided $260.5 million in loans to Uzbekistan’s education sector since 1997, including projects for the development of textbooks and the textbook rental scheme, policy reform, rural school development, and senior secondary education development. ADB has also provided 11 technical assistance projects for the education sector totaling $4.4 million.
Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995. As of 15 March 2006, cumulative lending to the country stood at $914.7 million for 19 loans. ADB has approved technical assistance grants to Uzbekistan totaling $32 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development, and good governance. Established in 1966, it is owned by 64 members – 46 from the region. In 2005, it approved loans and grants for projects totaling $6.95 billion, and technical assistance amounting to $198.8 million.
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