SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan).

The Republic of Uzbekistan has a population of around 34 million people. While 12 % of the people live below the national poverty line, the poverty rate in rural areas remains particularly high: three quarters of the people living below the poverty line live in rural communities. About a quarter of the population works in agriculture, and the Uzbek economy is heavily dependent on water-intensive cotton production. This need for water and the poor water infrastructure with declining freshwater sources, means that at least 80% of the country lives with some degree of water scarcity.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Uzbekistan since 1986.

Children are at risk

There are about 11.8 million children under the age of 18 in Uzbekistan, which is about 35% of the population. Of all children, 30% live in poverty. Children with disabilities and children from financially weak families are more likely to be taken into care and placed in large institutions. In Uzbekistan, about 25,000 children live in such conditions, although, in order for children to develop their skills, it is important that they grow up in a loving, family environment.
1 in 2
Uzbek children suffer from malnutrition


Micronutrient deficiency in children is widespread in Uzbekistan. While 15% suffer from anemia, more than 50% are affected by iron deficiency. In addition, 9% of children show signs of chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition in children has multiple effects, from the inability to concentrate at school to poor cognitive function, poor growth, and stunted development. This also leads to a weakened immune system, which in turn can result in various illnesses.

1 in 2
Children do not attend pre-school


Although access to preschool education has improved, it is still only reaching 53% of children in Uzbekistan. Early childhood education can be particularly beneficial for disadvantaged children as it prepares them for success in further stages of education and enables them to achieve better grades. Despite the high enrollment rate in elementary school, many children drop out or repeat classes. The number of children who go to secondary schools is steadily declining and the dropout rate is higher among girls.

1 in 5
Young people are unemployed

Youth unemployment

The youth unemployment rate in Uzbekistan is twice the national average (18%), and there is evidence of significant skills gaps among young people entering the labor market. Youth unemployment is associated with long-term wage losses, increased risk of further spells of unemployment, and poorer health and mental health conditions. Uzbekistan has high rates of self-injury and suicide deaths among young people – they account for more than 70% of all suicide cases, both male and female.

Together we can make a difference for children in Uzbekistan

Can stay together
Grow up in our care
Children and young people
Are supported on their way to independence
The children are excited when they receive new books for their school assignments. SOS Children's Villages works with education authorities, schools and community organizations. Together, they ensure free and equitable access to quality education that teaches children values and skills (SOS Children's Village Uzbekistan)

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives