According to the Bank's website, this project aims "to increase access to basic infrastructure and services, and to strengthen participatory local governance processes in targeted rural communities." Bank documents outline two components:
Because this project will be co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and World Bank, it has been agreed that the World Bank's Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies will be used.
Although this project endeavours to deliver needed infrastructure and ensure this development is community-based, the continued prevalence of forced labour under the larger Obod Qishloq programme, the restricted environment for communities to voice their opinions free from coercion, and the current capacity of civil society to meaningfully participate in these processes is concerning.
Despite government reforms, since the launch of the programme in May 2018, Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) has documented numerous reports and complaints from residents of Uzbekistan that local authorities are forcing employees of state-funded organisations to work without pay and carry out unskilled, and often dangerous, tasks.
There is an ongoing and high risk of abuses, including evidence of state-organized mass forced labour, directly related to the Obod Qishloq programme, which this project supports. Given the plans and mitigation measures currently outlined in the World Bank’s project documents, there are challenges with the:
For additional details and civil society recommendations, see: https://ews.rightsindevelopment.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Letter-to-WB-AIIB-Board-re_-Obod-Qishloq.pdf
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: US$82 million loan
Toshiaki Keicho - Sr Investment Operations Specialist - firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Wrobel - Sr Social Development Specialist - email@example.com
Project Implementation Unit
Zafar Urakov - Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF AIIB
The AIIB has established the Accountability Mechanism for Project-Affected People (PPM). The PPM provides “an opportunity for an independent and impartial review of submissions from Project-affected people who believe they have been or are likely to be adversely affected by AIIB’s failure to implement the ESP in situations when their concerns cannot be addressed satisfactorily through Project level GRMs or AIIB Management processes.” Two or more project-affected people can file a complaint. Under the current AIIB policy, when the bank co-finances a project with another development bank, it may apply the other bank's standards. You can refer to the Project Summary Information document to find out which standards apply. You can learn more about the PPM and how to file a complaint at: https://www.aiib.org/en/about-aiib/who-we-are/project-affected-peoples-mechanism/how-we-assist-you/index.html.
The complaint submission form can be accessed in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Chinese, English, Tagalog, Hindi, Nepali, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. The submission form can be found at: https://www.aiib.org/en/about-aiib/who-we-are/project-affected-peoples-mechanism/submission/index.html.