Alwaleed Philanthropies “Global” and UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund Partner to Save Lives and Transform Communities in Uzbekistan
2019 - 2021
In partnership with
Over the course of 2019 to 2021, Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" teamed up with the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Human Security to create a profound transformation in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan. Guided by a commitment to climate issues and the safety of water resources, this collaborative effort focused on preserving this critical ecosystem and ensuring the well-being of 378,466 individuals in the surrounding communities and the global environment. Through the funding of five projects, they addressed the complex challenges arising from the Aral Sea's condition, all while striving to create a more sustainable future for the region.
Project 1: Improving Maternal and Newborn Health
With a clear focus on improving healthcare services for mothers and newborns, this project had several objectives. It aimed to enhance infrastructure, provide essential equipment, and raise awareness among families about health and nutrition. In 2021, significant accomplishments were achieved, including the supply of 150 units of modern medical equipment to targeted facilities. Additionally, 730 healthcare providers received training on evidence-based practices for maternal and newborn survival. The project benefited a total of 12,159 mothers and 12,067 newborns by improving infrastructure and enhancing the quality of care provided. Notably, the survival rate of newborns increased to an impressive 91%, and there was a significant reduction of nearly 30% in early neonatal deaths. Furthermore, two facilities successfully reached the target of 100% postpartum care, and the initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life increased to 60-70%.
Project 2: Promoting Sustainable Rural Development
With the aim of addressing human insecurity in the Aral Sea region, this project focused on promoting sustainable rural development. It encompassed various initiatives, including providing access to clean drinking water, enabling rural populations to generate income, promoting sustainable tourism development, and initiating afforestation efforts. In 2021, significant accomplishments were made, such as the implementation of six infrastructure projects that purified water and supplied drinking water to benefit a total of 3,491 people in five rural communities. Additionally, 150 individuals received training in WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) rules, contributing to improved practices in the region.
The project also provided support for 13 business projects, leading to the creation of 60 new jobs, with a particular emphasis on empowering women and youth. Furthermore, 225 professionals and local communities received training in various aspects of sustainable tourism development, hospitality, ecotourism, and community-based tourism. The project further conducted research expeditions on the dried seabed of the Aral Sea and established a nursery spanning 49 hectares of land to cultivate drought-resistant plants. Lastly, the Forestry Department received 17 types of equipment to support their initiatives.
Project 3: Investing in a Resilient Future
The primary objective of this project was to enhance the health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, and overall well-being of adolescents in Karakalpakstan. Additionally, it aimed to tap into the talents of young individuals during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing their immediate needs and fostering their resilience through the development of social innovation skills. In 2021, notable achievements were accomplished, including the development of project design documents for 17 project sites in the Kungrad district by UNICEF. Distance learning equipment was installed in 28 healthcare facilities, contributing to improved access to education during challenging times.
Moreover, support was provided to 31 laboratories, ensuring the delivery of high-quality services to a population of 181,200 in the targeted districts. Training initiatives were conducted for 30 facilitators to strengthen the capacity of public education, while 326 teachers, 82 parents, and 170 healthcare workers received training on essential topics such as WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and Infection Prevention and Control. A knowledge hub (https://bilim.tma.uz/) was established as a digital platform supporting telemedicine and distance learning systems between primary, secondary, and tertiary level facilities. The project also provided support to 119 young individuals and 17 youth-led projects through seed funding and mentoring in incubation, empowering them to realise their innovative ideas. Furthermore, 313 adolescents were equipped with socio-emotional skills, and 21 school psychologists were trained to deliver the Life Skills program, promoting holistic development among the youth.
Project 4: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation
The project's primary objective was to strengthen the adaptive capacity of young people and vulnerable individuals in the Aral Sea region, focusing on economic and food insecurities. It aimed to empower unemployed, unskilled youth, women, and returning migrants by providing them with essential entrepreneurial skills and promoting youth-led innovation. Additionally, the project aimed to encourage innovative agricultural practices and foster the development of smart communities. In 2021, notable achievements included the training of 30 vulnerable unemployed women and girls in cooking skills, offering them new employment opportunities. Similarly, 30 young individuals from marginalized communities received plumbing training, expanding their potential career paths.
Moreover, 18 women leaders were trained to serve as facilitators for promoting gender equality, subsequently empowering and training 110 women within their communities. The project also facilitated the creation of income-generating opportunities for 13 individual and/or family businesses, fostering economic growth and stability. Various training sessions were conducted on horticulture, conservative agriculture, fishery, livestock, and water-saving technologies, equipping beneficiaries with valuable knowledge and skills in these respective areas. Furthermore, access to clean drinking water was provided to healthcare facilities and schools, positively impacting the lives of 7,208 individuals in the region.
Project 5: Universal Health Coverage and Security
The main objective of this project was to establish universal health coverage and security in Karakalpakstan by evaluating the health needs of the population and guiding future investments in health facilities, medical equipment, and healthcare workforce capacity until 2023. In 2021, significant achievements included the establishment of a comprehensive and integrated network of primary healthcare and secondary care services, aiming to provide accessible and high-quality healthcare to the community. Furthermore, a fourth expert mission was conducted in December 2021, further advancing the project's goals and objectives.
Gavhar's Journey: A Success Story
In the Nukus region of Karakalpakstan, Gavhar, a 50-year-old schoolteacher, found herself embarking on an inspiring journey. It all began when she decided to participate in the cervical cancer screening program, a vital initiative aimed at completing HPV testing for 50,000 women in the region. Little did she know that this decision would change her life forever.
When Gavhar received the shocking news of her condition, she was filled with a mix of emotions. However, amidst the initial shock, she held on to a deep sense of gratitude. Why? Because the cancer was detected at the right time, thanks to the proactive screening program. Gavhar realized that this early detection was the key to her future health and well-being.
Gavhar's story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of prevention programs and early detection in saving lives. By taking part in the cervical cancer screening program, Gavhar became an advocate for her own health and a testament to the positive impact such initiatives can have on individuals and communities. Her journey highlights the incredible value of accessible and proactive healthcare measures, ultimately leading to improved outcomes and a brighter future for all.