ACTED started developing its activities in Uzbekistan in 1999 and to date remains one of the few International NGOs active across the country. ACTED has been active in the fields of food security, livelihoods, economic development, conflict mitigation, local governance, capacity building of civil society organisations, shelter and infrastructure, microfinance, health education, reproductive health care and water and sanitation. ACTED's programmes in Uzbekistan are particularly focused on marginalized groups in rural areas and the local civil society.
Uzbekistan is the most populated country in Central Asia. Its favourable geography has helped cement its status as a leading player in regional economic cooperation in the energy, transport, and water sectors. Despite the many recent reforms of public service, judicial, educational, and tax systems, many challenges remain. Water management, gender inequalities, and a high disparity in living standards between rural and urban areas all stifle further socio-economic progress and contribute to mass labour migrations.
ACTED’s programming focuses on strengthening women’s Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and supporting local authorities to take action to promote gender equality, and prevent and respond to domestic violence. ACTED also supports education through improving access to water in rural schools and promoting health education.
Despite the great advocacy efforts of Uzbek women’s CSOs, there remains no national legislative framework on domestic violence. Uzbek civil society is already highly active in the fight against gender-based violence, as evidenced by the plethora of CSOs working in this field. The problem is that many lack the advocacy skills, legal awareness, fundraising know-how and project management procedures required to fulfil their potential. ACTED worked to fill this gap by providing women’s CSOs with trainings targeting each of these sectors specifically, while also creating a national directory of CSOs to scale-up this programming in future. Through increasing the institutional capacity of these CSOs, Uzbek women are benefiting from greater access to shelter, consultation and reintegration programmes, as well a small grants to support women in starting their first businesses.