AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan agreement totaling $8.39 million for a public-private partnership (PPP) healthcare services project in Uzbekistan through the "Leading Asia's Private Infrastructure Fund" (LEAP) financed by JICA.
The project will provide long-term financing for the construction, operation, and maintenance of four dialysis treatment centers in Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent, the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, and Khorezm Region. This project will contribute to the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Goal 2 (Zero hunger) and Goal 5 (Gender equality). The first international PPP project in the healthcare sector in the country, its ADB financing includes a LEAP loan of $3.36 million. What is more, the project is sponsored by Nephrocare Health Services Private Limited, one of the largest dialysis treatment services companies in Asia.
While there are approximately 30,000 patients suffering from chronic kidney disease in Uzbekistan, the system for providing dialysis treatment is insufficient, and there is a shortage of approximately 3,500 dialysis machines. This project will provide dialysis treatment to 1,100 patients through four dialysis centers and is expected to contribute to alleviating the shortage of medical services in the country's healthcare sector by mobilizing the private sector. The project also plans to develop a gender action plan and encourage the participation of female health care workers in dialysis treatment through the training of such workers and by ensuring a safe work environment.
LEAP is a part of the follow-up measures for the “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure,” which was announced by the Japanese government on November 21, 2015. Targeting high-quality private infrastructure projects in the Asia-Oceania region, the fund provides assistance for such projects organized under various arrangements, including public-private partnerships. In March 2016, JICA approved an investment of $1.5 billion in private sector investment financing for LEAP. Providing support for a wide range of sustainable infrastructure projects undertaken by the private sector in ADB member countries of the Asia-Pacific region, LEAP is directed at projects in fields such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and the provision of medical services at reasonable prices.