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A demonstration of the operation of a social panel in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
A demonstration of the operation of a social panel in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Photo credit: Oleg Ryaskov for USAID/Central Asia

For nearly three decades USAID has partnered with the governments, institutions, and people of the region to promote a self-reliant Central Asia that is interconnected, independent, and resistant to strategic competitors.

A stable and secure Central Asia contributes directly to U.S. efforts to counter terrorism, support regional stability, promote energy security, and enhance economic prosperity in the region and beyond.

To further the U.S. Strategy for Central Asia and advance self-reliance across the region, USAID/Central Asia identified five priority areas for regional support: energy, trade, transboundary water management, countering violent extremism, and combating trafficking in persons in its new Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).

Energy:

By partnering with the countries of Central Asia, international donor agencies, and the private sector, USAID strives to build enhanced regional cooperation on shared energy resources, including building a sustainable energy market and connectivity within the region and with Afghanistan and Pakistan. USAID-supported regional reforms lead to market liberalization and access to clean and affordable electricity.

As the region pursues improvements to energy infrastructure and institutions, more robust integration of the region’s energy markets, and economic growth based on energy trading, USAID stands ready to help realize this important vision. In partnership with host country governments and donor agencies, USAID’s efforts will positively impact the regulatory and policy reforms to improve governance and utility performance. This will create an investment climate for U.S. project developers and investors, all of which will generate opportunities for American companies to export technologies and services that create more American jobs.

Trade and Enterprise Development: 

USAID partners with governments, the private sector, and other donors to improve enabling environments for business, create business-friendly policies, and attract foreign investment. These efforts seek to streamline the time and cost of moving goods across borders, reduce customs barriers, and strengthen phytosanitary administration. Many of these measures are key aspects of membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). USAID provides technical assistance to help countries to join and comply with WTO procedures, enabling those countries to benefit from participation in the rules-based system of global trade. USAID supports the development of competitive enterprises throughout Central Asia so that domestic enterprises can create jobs and improve incomes, leveraging the expertise and technology of American firms whenever possible. Support helps firms to meet international requirements including quantity, quality, and safety standards through training and business networking support. Each year the USAID-led Central Asia Trade Forum brings together governments, businesses, and thought leaders to discuss solutions for improving regional trade. Sectors of support include horticulture, transport and logistics, tourism, and information technology.

Environment and Transboundary Water Management:

Water and environmental management are some of the more complex development challenges in the region. The five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan struggle to balance the region’s limited water resources, which are 90 percent transboundary, with their growing populations and economies. This makes it difficult for national water strategies to accommodate regional interests.

For over two decades, USAID has partnered with the people and governments of Central Asia to promote regional dialogue and cooperation to address water and environmental challenges. Current programs strengthen technical capacity and regional cooperation to manage transboundary water resources within Central Asia and with Afghanistan, develop climate adaptation strategies to mitigate economic risks, and address current and emerging environmental challenges to promote stability, economic prosperity, and healthy ecosystems in the region.

Countering Violent Extremism: 

USAID engages with traditional and non-traditional partners to gain a better understanding of violent extremism dynamics in Central Asia. Through systematic and rigorous research and testing of pilot activities, USAID will identify viable approaches to prevent violent extremism in the region. Efforts will contribute to the development of more effective, evidence-based strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism.

Countering Trafficking in Persons:

USAID programs partner with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector in Central Asia to promote rights-based safe migration and reduce and counter trafficking in persons especially among vulnerable populations. USAID aims to strengthen the mutual accountability of all stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, and the private sector to become more self-reliant in their efforts to prevent trafficking in persons, protect survivors of human trafficking, and promote safe migration.

Last updated: September 14, 2021

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