The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) and Uzbekistan have signed a country partnership framework agreement for the period 2024−2029, earmarking $500 million in new financing to support the country’s sustainable development agenda, as reported by the fund’s press service.

Further deepening the relationship the OPEC Fund is also extending a new $20 million loan to support a key preschool education project by the government, setting up 200 preschools for almost 30,000 children across Uzbekistan. The project is co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank and private sponsors. The government’s goal is to achieve universal preschool enrollment by 2030.

“The development of a modern preschool education system is crucial for future economic growth and building human capacity. We are proud to join the government’s efforts and support its ambitious aspirations to become an upper middle-income country by 2030,” said OPEC Fund president Abdulhamid Alkhalifa.

To date, the OPEC Fund has provided around $760 million in loans to support nearly 30 public and private sector projects in Uzbekistan. Around 30% of sovereign funding has been dedicated to improving water and sanitation, whereas private sector engagements have focused on the transformation of Uzbekistan’s energy sector and the promotion of renewable energy.

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev met with the OPEC Fund president Abdulhamid Alkhalifa on 1 May. During the meeting, both parties emphasized “the importance of the soonest preparation”, and the execution of projects outlined in the $500 million agreement that has been signed.