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Summer 2017

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Cold Storage Expansion Drives Market Development in Uzbekistan

We were amazed to see a packed audience in 2010 when our team from the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) traveled to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Our Uzbek trainees came from many backgrounds—teachers, builders, businessmen—eager to learn about this vital link in the agricultural value chain. Most did not have experience in the cold chain, let alone a refrigeration facility to manage, yet they soon formed the foundation for the country’s remarkable cold chain development.

Following a public policy directive issued in 2011 by the Government of Uzbekistan and supported by international financial institutions, the government established a preferential lending regime for the cold storage sector. Uzbekistan has since increased its refrigerated warehousing from 258,000 cubic meters in 2010 to more than 3.5 million cubic meters with technical assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) AgLinks, AgLinks Plus, and Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) programs.

Farmers have enjoyed greater sales growth in high-value vegetables and fruits—such as grapes, cherries, and apricots—as a result of the crops’ longer lifespans. This boom in cold-storage infrastructure has enhanced Uzbekistan’s market capabilities, improving the abilities of farmers, transporters, grocers, and exporters to increase sales. In 2016 alone, for example, horticultural exports jumped by 38 percent, to more than 800,000 tons of fruit and vegetables. These results have also enabled households in Uzbekistan to consume fruits and vegetables more readily and over a longer period of the year.

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Enthusiasm for New Ways

The fall of the Soviet Union 25 years ago challenged Uzbekistan’s agricultural community to take on significant agricultural reform and job redistribution. Large farm collectives were broken up and redistributed to private farm enterprises, with infrastructure and agricultural practices needing rehabilitation and retooling to meet the needs of more market-oriented private farms and businesses. In 2007, DAI launched...

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Using Development Assistance to Catalyze Sound Investments in Emerging and Developing Markets

Investment opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture, and health are as abundant globally as the capital to fund them, but investors in these and other sectors are rightly cautious about entering new countries and taking risks on small and growing businesses and productive infrastructure. Fortunately, there are many examples in these teeming markets of how capital supported by local development expertise and entrepreneurial energy has generated both financial returns and development results.

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PolSEFF’s Legacy: Lower Energy Bills for Businesses Across Poland; a Financing Model to Scale and Replicate

While Poland’s private sector grew steadily in the post-Soviet era, its reliance on old energy equipment and poorly insulated facilities contributed to the country becoming one of the highest energy consumers in Europe. In 2010, when the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the Polish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (PolSEFF), few business owners had invested in energy efficiency measures compared with the European Union average, and Polish lending institutions were not prepared to finance these types of upgrades. As a result, business owners continued to pay unnecessarily high energy bills and emit unnecessarily high amounts of carbon.

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Philippines Increases Tax Collections by $1.1 Billion Year Over Year—Without Raising Rates

What would you do with an extra $1.1 billion? That amount represents the additional taxes collected by the Philippines government during the first quarter of 2017 versus the same period in 2016. This 12.2 percent increase—during the country’s tax-collecting season—followed the rapid adoption by taxpayers of an electronic tax-filing system introduced by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Facilitating Public Investment (FPI) program, implemented by DAI.

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Generation Rising: Young, Educated Afghan Women Enter the Workforce

It is hard to believe in the wake of the past few decades that 1960s and ’70s Afghanistan was relatively progressive for women, with many women and girls freely attending school, working professionally, and dressing fashionably. Since the 1990s, warlords and, later, the conquering Taliban subjugated females—forbidding girls from going to school and women from working.

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$93 Million Grain Deal Between East African Countries Demonstrates How the Region Can Feed Itself

If East Africa grows enough food to feed itself, which it generally does, why are so many of its people going hungry? This question lies at the nexus of two of Africa’s key development challenges—food security and trade—where a recent milestone event may signal a massive change in fortunes for one of the most food insecure regions of the world.

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The Whole Spectrum: A Holistic Approach to Climate Resilience

Climate change is a growing threat to global stability and national security. Decades of fossil fuel combustion and unsustainable land use have contributed to carbon dioxide levels in the planet’s atmosphere that are higher than in the past 4 million years. With so much carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere, the planet is getting warmer. Last year—2016—was the hottest year on record and seas around the world have already risen an average of nearly 3 inches. We are already experiencing increased impacts from extreme events, such as floods and drought: while it is difficult to attribute any one event to the broader phenomenon of climate change, Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines caused 6,100 deaths, displaced 4 million people, and damaged 1.1 million houses in 2013, with an estimated financial cost exceeding US$7 billion.

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