EU and UNDP extend collaboration to expand opportunities for Afghan citizen’s livelihoods in Termez

Mission to Surkhandarya region this week is aimed to monitor progress of joint projects.

October 11, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

11 October 2023. The European Union and UNDP extend collaboration to expand opportunities for Afghan citizen’s livelihoods in Termez Surkhandarya, Uzbekistan. The EU and UNDP official visit to Termez, Uzbekistan is aimed at launching the second phase of the funded by the European Union Project on “Enhancing the capacities of Surkhandarya Region to educate and train Afghan citizens”, which is implemented by UNDP and at reviewing the progress in the area.

This project was launched in 2022 to create new and expand existing education opportunities for Afghan citizens in the Surkhandarya region, with a particular focus on youth and women. As a result of the project over 330 Afghan citizens have been trained, it also helped to strengthen the work capacities of the Educational Centre for Training Afghan Citizens (ECTAC).

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The second phase of the project will provide support to educate 400 students in various in-demand professions both locally and globally, including in Afghanistan. The best students who demonstrated their aspiration and dedication will be able to advance their education with business management skills and will have the opportunity to receive small grants to turn their ideas into real income for themselves and for their peers.

“The European Union is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan and we are pleased to continue our partnership with Uzbek authorities, the Education Centre to train Afghan Citizens in Termez and UNDP to support displaced Afghan citizens in Surkhandarya Region of Uzbekistan”, said H.E. Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union to Uzbekistan. “The initiative under the second phase not only provides Afghan citizens with additional education and training, thereby supporting their livelihood, but it will also make their stay in Uzbekistan more safe and resilient.”

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

"We are expanding our project focus to provide Afghan citizens with the practical skills and knowledge that is key to succeed in the workforce and to contribute to the development of the local economy," said Mr. Anas Fayyad Qarman, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Uzbekistan. "It is also helping to build bridges between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, and to promote regional cooperation and stability. We are grateful for the support of the EU in this important project, and we are committed to working together to ensure that all Afghan citizens have access to quality education, regardless of their background or circumstances."

During their visit, the EU and UNDP delegation met with ECTAC staff, and Afghan students to discuss the project's progress and to identify areas for further cooperation.

As part of the visit, the members of the mission also explored the Public Service Centers (PSC) in Termez city and the first ever self-service corner in Uzbekistan that is located in Guliston makhalla, one of the most populous (population approx. 4.5 thousand people) mahallas of Shurchi district. There the members of the mission got acquainted with the self-service corner created by the joint project of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the European Union and UNDP "Improved Public Service Delivery and Enhanced Governance in Rural Uzbekistan" (IPSD), where people can independently receive public services through an interactive touch table.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The Public Service Center of the Shurchi District of Surkhandarya is one of the seven centers, which were selected as pilot objects under IPSD. The PSC is equipped with modern IT and communications technologies (servers, PCs, network and telecommunication devices, video surveillance devices, devices for user feedback, etc.), a comfortable waiting area for citizens and a modern air conditioning system.

From October 2021 to June 2023, 1781 citizens applied to the expert of Women's Advisory Groups (WAG) in Shurchi district, including 639 women, 257 men, 435 young people, 79 elderly people, 36 people with disabilities. All of them were provided detailed information about the public services, as well as were helped to get online public services. 533 citizens were provided advice on legal, psychological, business and social issues.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

With the EU funding, UNDP is supporting the Ministry of Justice in the creation of inclusive conditions for all visitors through providing technical support and expertise focused to the compliance of the PSC with modern inclusive urban planning standards and technical requirements, including with a special focus to people with special needs.

UNDP stands ready to contribute to the multi-sectoral efforts towards the fair and inclusive development of Surkhandarya region to promote regional cooperation and stability.