Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
What are the current issues in Tajikistan
Tajikistan is a landlocked, low-income, food-deficit country with a population of approximately 7.5 million. The percentage of arable land in the country is barely seven percent and three-quarters of the population live in rural areas. The rugged, mountainous terrains pose enormous challenges for people, especially during the winter when bad weather and natural disasters impede movement and routinely trigger energy and food shortages.
The country is the poorest in the Commonwealth of Independent States, with 47.2 percent of the population living on less than US$1.33 a day and 17 percent subsisting on less than US$0.85 a day. Tajikistan ranks 125 out of the187 countries on the UNDP's 2012 Human Development Index. The majority of the population spends between 60 to 80 percent of their income on food.
Access to food is a major challenge, with around one-third of the population affected by food insecurity.
In recent years, remittances flow to Takjikistan-- mostly from workers in the Russian Federation -- has increased to almost 50 percent of the GDP. Remittances are the main source of income for almost 55 percent of rural households. While remittances represent an important contribution to the country´s economic growth, they are also the last resort for poverty-stricken rural families who are unable to survive on more sustainable livelihoods. Although the direct impact of the global financial crisis has been limited as Tajikistan is not integrated into global markets, the indirect consequences have been serious with reduced global prices and a decreasing demand for the country's main export commodities; aluminium and cotton.
WFP's activities in Tajikistan are aligned with the organization's strategic objectives as well as theUnited Nations Development Assistance Framework, the Government of Tajikistan's Poverty Reduction Strategy and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals; eradication of poverty and hunger, universal primary education and the promotion of gender equality.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Tajikistan
WFP operations aim to improve household food security and promote investment in human capital. WFP also works on preserving and rehabilitating assets through recovery activities including food for education, food for work, support to tuberculosis patients and support to supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes.
WFP continues to provide relief food aid to the victims of natural disasters. Under WFP's current operation, some 560,000 people receive food assistance with 24,068 metric tons of food at an overall cost of US$18.6 million.
WFP provides hot meals to 360,000 children in rural primary schools to encourage their attendance and enhance their concentration on their lessons. The girls and boys get a bowl of split-pea soup (supplemented with fresh vegetables supplied by the parents) and bread baked with WFP fortified wheat flour.
Support to malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women and tuberculosis patients
Acutely malnourished children are being treated through Therapeutic and Supplementary-feeding programmes. WFP also assists food-insecure households. TB patients receive family food rations as an incentive to continue the DOTS treatment.
Food for work
Women and men receive a WFP food ration in return for working on building a community asset such as an irrigation canal or water supply. Water is one of the most precious resources in rural Tajikistan and can make a huge difference in people’s daily lives.
Vulnerable Group Feeding
WFP gives a two to three-month basic ration of wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt and pulses to the most destitute families. This ration is distributed twice a year – during the lean season (April/May) before the summer harvest and before winter in November and December. Without this assistance families would be forced to resort to begging and selling their assets.
Featured Tajikistan publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on Tajikistan? Visit the Tajikistan publications archive.