Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Uzbekistan

SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

Click here to go to these sections:

 

POVERTY

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

On 24 August 1994, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted a Decree on Questions of the Organization of the Social Protection of Poor Families. This decree lays down the basic principles for carrying out targeted social protection measures for the people in accordance with the Presidential Decree of 23 August 1994 on "Measures to strengthen the social protection of poor families". On 10 December 1996, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted an order on Measures to Strengthen Social Support for Families with Children. The order sets out the procedure for the award and payment of allowances to families having children aged up to 16 years in accordance with the Presidential Decree of 10 December 1996 on "Further strengthening State support for families with children."

Status 

The major groups who benefit from the social assistance programme in Uzbekistan are pensioners, children, the unemployed, workers in establishments funded by the State budget, the disabled, and large families. The amounts of the minimum wage, pensions, student grants, and other allowances are indexed. Provision of assistance to the most vulnerable population groups and creation of the conditions for improving their incomes from work and business activities is in effect. Nevertheless, between 1991 and 1996, the people's real monetary incomes fell by about 47%, and the purchasing power of an average wage declined by 40% in comparison with the pre-reform period. As a result of the social policies which are being carried out, including policies to support poor population groups, Uzbekistan has managed to avoid the sharp increase in inequality typically experienced by most of the countries moving towards a market economy.

Uzbekistan is gradually establishing its own model of social protection for its population. The following are this model's most distinctive features:

  1. The target of the social assistance provided by the State is not the individual but the family. Thus the basic social benefits are paid directly to the family;
  2. A family's need for State social benefits is assessed not by the central authorities but by representatives of local self-government bodies (skhody, makhalli);
  3. The targeting of social assistance for families is constantly being improved; and
  4. The programme of assistance for poor families is funded not only by the Government but also by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

As a result of the reform of the social security system, the many benefits paid to poor families, which had become almost totally worthless as a result of inflation, were replaced by two basic types of family allowance: for families having children aged up to 16 years, and for poor families.

In view of the positive experience of operating the new system for distributing benefits to poor families, it has also been used for the distribution of allowances to families with children since 1997. Under the programme of State assistance for poor families, an average of about 600,000 families (14.5% of the total) receive family allowances every month. In 1996, these payments amounted to 1.1% of total budgetary expenditure. Children's allowances were paid to more than 2.9 million families. This amounted to 6.4% of budgetary expenditure.

Information 

In conjunction with the World Bank, "poverty" is monitored in all parts of the country. This includes surveys of family budgets, with a view of adopting in good time targeted measures to reduce inequality.

Financing 

The social assistance programme also includes special-purpose allowances: to mothers on the birth of a child; to mothers with children aged up to two years; to persons who have lost their breadwinner; to persons disabled from childhood (from the Social Insurance Fund); and to the unemployed (from the Employment Fund). Another fund, the Social Transformation Fund, will help to create the conditions for boosting employment and increasing incomes, improving the people's well-being, and developing small- and medium-sized enterprises, etc. Since about 12% of the population are pensioners, scenarios for reform of the pension system are currently being developed in the light of world experience.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

| Republic of Uzbekistan | AllCountries | Home |

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Labour is preparing and implementing measures to achieve the basic goals of social and demographic policy. It also coordinates the work of the regions on their demographic development. The Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics prepares, on behalf of the Government, quarterly reports on the country's socioeconomic development which, together with other aspects of social development, reflect current conditions, trends of demographic change, and contain proposals for the solution of population problems. These two Ministries coordinate the work of other relevant ministries, offices, and local authorities on the fundamental problems of Uzbekistan's demographic development.

Status 

Since the early 1990s, positive trends have been observed in demographic processes in Uzbekistan. Death and birth rates are declining, as is the natural population growth. The total death and birth rates for the past seven years (1990-1996) fell by 0.3 and 5.4% respectively. The current demographic situation has emerged against a background in which the economic decline is being checked, the structural transformations in the economy continued, the macro-economic stabilization consolidated, and the market reforms developed. In 1985-1986, life expectancy was 68.2 years, in 1990 69.3 years, and in 1994 70.4 years. For the same years, this indicator for men and women respectively was 65.1 and 71, 66.1 and 72.4, and 68 and 72.5. Thus by 1994, life expectancy had increased by 2.2 years in comparison with 1985-1986.

Infant mortality indicators have improved in recent years. The mortality rate among children aged under one year fell to 22.2 per 1,000 as against 26 per 1,000 in 1995, and 35.1 per 1,000 in 1991. However, the infant mortality rate is still high in comparison with the developed countries of the world.

Financing 

The financing of demographic programmes in Uzbekistan is provided by the State budget and the Employment Fund. The Ministry of Labour, in conjunction with the Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics, acts as the lead agency for Uzbekistan's participation in international organizations dealing with population questions.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on population and labour resources from the Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics, click here:

| Republic of Uzbekistan | AllCountries | Home |

 

HEALTH

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Every person has an inalienable right to health. This right is inscribed in the country's fundamental law, the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This right of citizens to have their health protected by the State is confirmed in several pieces of legislation: the Protection of Citizens' Health Act; the State Public Health Monitoring Act; and the AIDS Prevention Services Act.

In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted a number of orders spelling out cross-sectoral and inter-departmental activities for the protection of health of Uzbekistan's population. These orders include: a) social protection of the disabled in the Republic of Uzbekistan; b) comprehensive solution of the health problems of the rising generation; c) drinking water supply for the population of the Aral Sea region; d) State programme for the rehabilitation of the disabled, 1996-2000; e) compliance with animal-health regulations in the production and delivery of meat and dairy products, and prevention of infectious diseases found in farm animals; f) public health monitoring of bakery facilities and bakery products, and licensing system for juridical and physical persons producing bread and other bakery products; g) programme of rural infrastructure development up to 2000; h) organization of a medical/social community care system; i) stronger measures to combat hydrophobia and rabies in Uzbekistan; and j) measures to regulate market activities and their management.

Programmes and Projects 

Practical scientific programmes are currently being developed to prevent and reduce the incidence of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, AIDS, and oncologic and other non-communicable diseases. Principles are being formulated for the creation of a private sector and a market in medical services, with the development of competition between institutions providing curative and preventive services. A package of documents on medical insurance is being prepared.

Status 

A person's health depends on many factors: the environment, personal relationships, housing and working conditions, degree of satisfaction of requirements for food, clothing, social benefits and leisure, and the level of medical care. In Uzbekistan, the national priority is to elevate the health of the country's population to the level of State policy. The Government has a fundamental task in the period of socioeconomic transformation to maintain the established level of medical care and provide the guaranteed volume and quality of medical services for the people; and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and any further increase in the mortality rate among vulnerable population groups including children, mothers, and old people.

The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan has reformed the health system with the basic aim of creating a sound network of health care with guaranteed access and high standards of medical care for the country's population. The reform is based on the fundamental goals of ensuring justice in the provision of health care, prolonging worthwhile life, and reducing premature death, disease, and disability. The principles underlying the reform of the health system are: review of the network and structure of health institutions at all levels; protection of the health of mothers and children; review of the principles for financing the health sector, with a shift from the hospital bed as the funding unit to funding per inhabitant on a long-term basis; and consolidation of prophylactic health services, with increased out-patient and polyclinic services and the establishment of new forms of provision of medical care. These new forms would include daily home visits, ambulatory surgery facilities, specialized out-patient clinics, local health posts, etc.

In 1991-1996 hospital beds which were being used inefficiently were taken out of service (90,000 beds or 40% of the total). It was thus possible to create better conditions for the treatment of in-patients and to increase the efficiency of hospital use. As a result resources were redistributed, with priority given to out-patient services, which offer greater possibilities of prophylactic treatment and rehabilitation of patients. Expensive in-patient treatment has been replaced by a network of efficient out-patient services including day-hospitalization for treatment in polyclinics and local rural hospitals, home visits, and out-patient centres for individual categories and groups of illness (pulmonary, gastroenterological, etc.). In addition, out-patient surgery facilities have been established all over the country.

In 1996, 1.4 million patients received day-hospitalization treatment. This reduced the rate of round-the-clock hospitalization to 16.4 per 100 inhabitants (in 1995, 18.1; 1992, 23.6; and 1991, 24.7). The development of out-patient surgery facilities has altered the ratio of operations completed in hospitals and in out-patient facilities in favour of a higher number of out-patient operations. In 1996, 44% of operations were carried out on an in-patient basis and 56% on an out-patient basis, including 25.2% in out-patient surgery facilities. These measures have led to a steady decline in the mortality rate without any increase in the morbidity rate.

The strengthening of prophylactic services and public health/epidemiological monitoring has led to a decline in the incidence of the most serious infectious diseases, in particular viral hepatitis and intestinal infections. The regulation and provision of vaccinations has prevented mass outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, whooping-cough, and other controllable infections. Despite the unfavourable situation in neighbouring countries, Uzbekistan has prevented the spread of particularly dangerous infections, including peritoneal typhus, malaria, and AIDS. As a result of the vaccination days held annually in April-May, poliomyelitis among children has almost been eliminated.

The protection of mothers and children remains one of the priorities of Uzbekistan's health service. The Government has adopted a number of instruments to improve the situation of women, protect mothers and children, strengthen the family, etc. A national health programme has been formulated for women of child-bearing age and children, together with a comprehensive health programme for the younger generation. Many ministries and other Government offices, voluntary funds, commercial bodies, and public organizations are participating in the implementation of these programmes.

The application of the principle of rational control of women's reproductive function has led to a reduction in maternal and infant mortality rates, with a greater number of children born healthy and wanted. At present in Uzbekistan, 90% of women give birth between the ages of 20 and 35, that is during the optimum period recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Until recently, however, about one third of children were born to women aged about 40 or older, a practice which notoriously results in the birth of unhealthy children. Uzbek families traditionally have many children. Every woman of child-bearing age (19 to 49 years) has an average of 4.1 children. In recent years, there has been a reduction in the birth rate: between 1991 and 1996 the total birth rate per 1,000 inhabitants fell from 34.5 to 27.3.

Arrangements have been made to handle difficult births, and for mothers to be hospitalized before giving birth and during the post-partum period. For this purpose, maternity facilities have been established in all districts and towns including prenatal training departments, delivery blocks, and recovery wards. The number of delivery rooms has been increased to cope with a rate of 10.5 deliveries per room every 24 hours.

Considerable attention has been given to the development of primary health care, especially in rural areas, where the plan is to create new medical facilities and health posts in addition to improving existing ones. This will bring qualified medical care closer to the rural population, providing 80 to 85% of patients with access to the necessary treatment.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Educational work has been carried out to inform people about the need to increase the spacing of births to at least three years, emphasizing that the 20-30 age range is the safest for mother and child, and to increase the use of contraception by women of child-bearing age especially women suffering from extra-genital ailments. The use of contraception has increased to 42% compared to 12.1% in 1990.

Cooperation

In 1996, expenditure on health services accounted for 3.1% of GDP. Contacts with WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and other international organizations are currently being expanded. Cooperation with such organizations includes the formulation and implementation of concrete programmes of scientific research; and practical activities to combat a number of infectious diseases, including the provision for immunization and preventive services, environmental hygiene, and mother and child protection.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

To access the Health for All On-Line Database (WHO): Europe and CIS countries, click here:
For access to the WHO National Environmental Health Action Plan for Uzbekistan, click here:
Click here to go to the Health and health-related statistical information from the World Health Organization.

| Republic of Uzbekistan | AllCountries | Home |

 

EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education and the Ministry of National Education have drawn up recommendations for the redesign of teaching courses relating to questions of environmental protection to take into account the problems of Uzbekistan's sustainable development. In addition, Uzbekistan has established the Coordination Council for Economic Education, headed by the Prime Minister, to promote education and public awareness of sustainable development. Public information on matters of sustainable development is provided under the leadership and coordination of the State Environmental Protection Committee.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

A gradual re-education of the public to make it aware of the problems of sustainable development and the need to protect the environment is occurring in Uzbekistan. A national training programme is being developed in the context of the emerging Uzbekistan's concept of sustainable development. The proposal is to introduce a guaranteed and compulsory 12-year period of secondary education. Teaching programmes have been created, textbooks are being produced, and a teacher-training system is being organized. The State publicizes through the mass information media the advantages and importance of education and informs the public about the problems of sustainable development and environmental protection.

The general-education schools have introduced additional subjects relating to economic education. In 1997 for the first time, the country's higher education institutions will enrol secondary school graduates to take environmental protection as a subject.

Financing 

Funding for the work of re-educating the public on the problems of sustainable development is provided from the resources of the State budget and international programmes.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

| Republic of Uzbekistan | AllCountries | Home |

 

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Programmes and Projects 

In Uzbekistan, an employment programme is being prepared to accelerate the industrialization of the economy and to make fuller use of the country's natural resource potential. This will use the manpower resources of rural areas and encourage the establishment of a sustainable system of human settlements. Monitoring of rural manpower resources has been introduced, and funds are being obtained for the creation of additional jobs.

Status 

Uzbekistan has an area of 447,700 km2. As of 1 January 1997, the population was 23.35 million, including an urban population of 8.9 million. However, urban population growth is being outstripped by the growth in rural areas. In 1991, rural dwellers accounted for 59.8% of the population, but by the beginning of 1997 this proportion was already in excess of 62%.

There are 163 districts (excluding urban districts), 120 towns, and 114 urban settlements in Uzbekistan. The country has one city with a population of over a million (Tashkent 2,109,500 people) and 11 towns with a population of over 100,000. Migration from the countryside is making a substantial contribution to urban population growth.

One special feature of Uzbekistan's population distribution pattern is the predominance of rural settlements. The rural population pattern is structured around regional centres in the form of small towns, urban-type settlements, and rural settlements. The district centres bear the total weight of organization, services, and administration. In fact, these types of settlement constitute the skeleton of the system of population distribution. The demographic situation is characterized by a low level of mobility of the local population within the country, persistent demographic patterns, and strong population growth. These characteristics hamper the effective use of manpower resources and the natural resource potential of rural areas.

Challenges

At present, the most pressing problems in the establishment of sustainable human settlements are connected with the creation of an efficient job system and the development of the industrial and social infrastructures. Positive developments in these areas would ensure maximum satisfaction of the people's social needs and create the conditions for attracting production investments to the countryside. In view of the shortage of land and water resources, there is a need to create additional jobs by organizing small- and medium-sized enterprises in the countryside and in the district centres primarily for the processing of agricultural products and other local raw materials.

In the process of establishing a sustainable system of human settlements, particular attention will be given to the environmental health of towns and rural settlements, especially in the Aral Sea zone of ecological crisis; to the establishment of favourable human habitat; and the maintenance of the historical traditions and authenticity of the environment of the various ethnic and ethno-cultural population groups.

Financing 

The State and local budgets, employment funds, support from business, and the resources of enterprises and private investors support the movement to sustainable human settlements. Cooperation with the International Labour Organization is significant, while the creation of a national transformation fund requires international support.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Click here to access "BEST PRACTICES FOR HUMAN SETTLEMENTS"
For information related to human settlements and refugees, you may access the UNHCR Country Index by clicking here:


| Natural Resource Aspects | InstitutionalAspects | Economic Aspects |

| Republic of Uzbekistan | AllCountries | Home |