Tajikistan is a food-deficit country and the poorest in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Although progress has been made on poverty since 2009, with Tajikistan reaching lower-middle-income status in 2015, the country is still highly vulnerable to external and internal shocks. Almost half of its gross domestic product comes from remittances, and economic forecasts undermine development and poverty reduction prospects. Tajikistan imports half its food needs, with food price fluctuations disproportionally affecting the poorest. Among countries in the Europe and Central Asia region, Tajikistan is classified as the most vulnerable to climate change.
The Government’s vision points to the consolidation of development gains combined with an efficient and increased social protection system, including more focus on food security, education and healthcare. The country programme supports the Government’s food security and nutrition-related social safety nets, targeting the most food-insecure. It also contributes to building the resilience of highly vulnerable communities. The programme will emphasize advocacy, policy development and capacity development with the Government, with a gradual reduction in direct implementation leading to full hand-over of the school feeding and tuberculosis programmes to the Government by 2021.
The Government is committed to implementing a sustainable, nationally managed school feeding programme with WFP as a partner in the design of enhanced modalities and expanded coverage. Development of nutrition policies and protocols to address all forms of malnutrition will be supported with capacity augmentation of, increased engagement with, and budgetary support for the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Local purchases, home-grown school feeding and support to agricultural value chains will build synergies with the school feeding programme. Livelihood support activities with market-based transfers will build resilience in food-insecure communities.
The country programme supports the objectives of the Zero Hunger Challenge and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal 2. It is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for 2016–2020 and contributes to WFP’s Strategic Objectives 1, 3 and 4. The programme is also aligned with Tajikistan’s Mid-Term Development Strategy (2016–2020) especially the two goals of the Mid-Term Development Programme: Overcoming the critical level of food insecurity and provision of equal access to social services.