On March 19, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev issued a decree “The initial measures to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and negative global effects on the economy”. As a result, the country received a comprehensive stimulus programme designed to help with the fight against coronavirus and support the population and economy.
The decree created a 10 trillion soms Emergency Fund and outlined a range of measures for social support, healthcare, income and labour protection.
The immediate priority for the Fund is to support the efforts to contain the spread of the virus, ensure a continuous supply of medications, personal protection and diagnostic equipment as well as make funding available for quarantine-related costs.
As a result of this decree, the hardest-hit sectors of the economy are eligible for tax breaks, government loans and debt relief arrangements.
Patokh Chodiev: Assistance strategy in terms of coronavirus pandemic
Considering the disruption to the international trade there are no penalties for delayed import-export duties. For carriers, the list of goods that can use “Green Channel” clearance has been expanded.
200bn soms are allocated for the Social Development Fund to help with employment and for creation of a new infrastructure in Mahallas. Business Support Fund received 500bn soms to encourage new jobs creation.
The Committee for State Reserves Management monitors market prices and supplies goods from reserves where necessary.
A special emphasis is paid to social protection – expansion of unemployment and other social benefits to a wider sector of the population.
The aid programme of The International Chodiev Foundation
The International Chodiev Foundation took an active role in the implementation of the Government programme by announcing additional social benefits for those who are most affected by the pandemic.
The first phase of Foundation support is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and provides food and hygiene supplies to senior citizens and low-income families. This is a countrywide programme. The kits also contain guidelines and other helpful information in Uzbek about social distancing rules and the importance of personal hygiene during the pandemic.
This is not the first charitable initiative by ICF in Uzbekistan. In September 2019, the International Chodiev Foundation announced a programme to improve the living standards and stimulate construction. More than 40bn soms was directed towards the activities as part of the “Obod Kishlok” (Improved rural living) programme as well as new Xovos City development in Khavast district. In 2018 ICF provided support to a number of institutions for children with disabilities: Specialised Boarding School N32 in Jizzakh, Boarding School N19 for children with developmental disabilities in Chirakhchi and Muruvvat facility in Kashkadarya Region.
The history of the International Chodiev Foundation
The International Chodiev Foundation was established in 1996 by the successful businessman and keen philanthropist Dr Patokh Chodiev. Today the Foundation is a global centre for development and advancement of science, arts, education and innovation in Eurasia. Its representative office in Uzbekistan was established in 2017.
In order to ensure the timely implementation of these measures, the Government has set up an anti-crisis committee chaired by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan. During the two-month period starting from 22 March, the Committee is focusing on limiting the spread of the virus, ensuring safe working conditions in the manufacturing, services and retail industries as well as transportation and logistics.