To strengthen the public health emergency response and preparedness in Uzbekistan through upgrading national laboratories, developing surveillance systems, and building case management capacity to address the on-going COVID-19 pandemic as well as to enhance the country’s resilience and preparedness to cope with future public health disasters.
The project scope will consist of the following three interlinked components:
Component 1. Strengthening national laboratory system:
1.1. Enhancing COVID-19 and related testing capacity of the designated laboratories under the Agency of Epidemiological Wellbeing (ASEW) through laboratory renovation and provision of laboratory equipment, including personal protection equipment and testing kits.
1.2. Developing laboratory networking system for diagnostics, quality assurance, monitoring, and reporting.
1.3. Providing necessary training for laboratory workers to use technology and develop skills for testing and contact tracing.
Component 2. Establishing national surveillance and response capacity:
2.1. Developing a national surveillance and monitoring system to strengthen screening, testing and contact tracing.
2.2. Strengthening border and rapid response by procuring surveillance and sanitation vehicles, equipment and supplies for the surveillance and response system.
2.3. Developing information and artificial intelligence applications for public use.
2.4. Providing necessary training for primary and institutional health care workers to use surveillance and monitoring system and personal applications.
Component 3. Building Case Management Capacity:
3.1. Enhancing the capacity of the designated health centers to handle COVID-19 patients through renovation of these facilities and provision of medical equipment, supplies and ambulances.
3.2. Enhancing the technical capacity of health workers to effectively manage COVID-19 patients by providing clinical and service guidelines and related training.
The project will be co-financed with ADB, as a lead co-financier, and the project’s environmental and social (ES) risks and impacts have been assessed in accordance with ADB’s Safeguards Policy Statement (SPS). To ensure a harmonized approach to addressing the ES risks and impacts of the Project, and as permitted under AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), ADB’s SPS will apply to the project in lieu of AIIB’s ESP. AIIB has reviewed ADB SPS and is satisfied that: (i) it is consistent with the Bank’s Articles of Agreement and materially consistent with the provisions of AIIB’s ESP, including the ES Exclusion List and the relevant ES Standards; and (ii) the monitoring procedures that are in place are appropriate for the Project.
Given the nature and potential spread of the COVID-19 pathogen, ADB has categorized the ES risks of the project as B for Environment, C for Involuntary Resettlement and C for Indigenous People (which are equivalent to Category B if AIIB’s ESP were applicable).
Uzbekistan’s current response to the COVID-19 situation is in line with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). An Environmental Assessment and Review Framework (EARF) has been prepared by the Government’s Ministry of Health (MOH). An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) study will be conducted during the implementation stage prior to the start of any rehabilitation works for the health and laboratories. The IEE will also include an Environmental Management Plan (EMP). A Waste Management Plan will be prepared and implemented for each of the laboratories and health centers in accordance with ADB’s Guidance Note on Managing Infectious Waste during COVID-19 Pandemic and national medical waste management regulations. The EARF also contains a resettlement screening checklist, although land acquisition is not expected for the project as civil works are limited to minor refurbishment and repair of 54 existing laboratories and health centers.
MOH will organize consultations with project-affected people taking into account limitations on face-to-face consultations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EARF in English has been disclosed on websites of ADB and MOH. The summary of EARF will be translated into Uzbek and Russian and disclosed by the MOH on its website and in hard copies in the Project areas. AIIB will also disclose the EARF on its website. Other ES documentation will also be disclosed on the ADB’s and MOH’s website, as well as AIIB’s website, when it is prepared.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Investment Operations Specialist
Asian Development Bank
Director, Department of internal and external public debt,
Ministry of Finance
Head, Department for Material-technical Base Development and Attraction of Investments, Agency for sanitary-epidemiological wellbeing