Tajikistan 2015
Population, million 8.5
GDP, current US$ billion 7.8
GDP per capita, current US$ 928
Poverty rate (LCU 167.76/month) 31.3
Life Expectancy at Birth, years 69.2

Since independence, Tajikistan has done a remarkable job in reducing poverty. Between 2000 and early 2015, poverty fell from over 83% to about 31%. Tajikistan’s pace of poverty reduction over the past 15 years has been among the top 10% in the world.

However, the country has done less well in reducing non-monetary poverty. Recently available micro-data suggest that limited or no access to education (secondary and tertiary), heating, and sanitation are the main contributors to non-monetary poverty. These three are the most unequally distributed services, with access to education varying by income level and heating and sanitation by location.

The Government of Tajikistan has set ambitious goals to be reached by 2020: to double GDP, reduce poverty to 20%, and expand the middle class.

To achieve higher growth, Tajikistan needs to implement a deeper structural reform agenda designed to: (a) reduce the role of the state and enlarge that of the private sector in the economy through a more favorable business climate, thus increasing private investment and generating more productive jobs; (b) modernize and improve the efficiency and social inclusiveness of basic public services; and (c) enhance the country’s connectivity to regional and global markets and knowledge.

The difficult environment for doing business in Tajikistan, as well as obstacles to foreign direct investment, have discouraged private investment and limited overall investment. Averaging about 15% of GDP annually since 2008, total investment is low by regional and international standards.

The main obstacles cited by both local and foreign entrepreneurs are inadequate infrastructure, in particular an insufficient and unreliable energy supply; weak rule of law, especially as regards property rights; and an overly burdensome tax policy and administration. Increased private investment and new business development are crucial prerequisites for increased job creation.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016


Number of projects 23
IDA grants and credit $236.1 million

The World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2014–18 seeks to help lay the foundation for Tajikistan to transition to a new growth model led by investment and exports and to improve the income-earning opportunities of the poorest 40% of the population. The three main areas of the CPS include:

  • Promote private sector–led growth by improving the investment climate and strengthening competitiveness in key sectors to attract investment and create jobs
  • Promote social inclusion by increasing access to improved social services, including education, health, social assistance, water supply, and sanitation
  • Enhance regional connectivity to increase the country’s access to regional markets and global information and knowledge

Mainstreaming climate change, improving governance, and narrowing the gender gap also continue to be important measures across all sectors of the CPS.

The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tajikistan includes 23 projects (involving regional projects and trust funds) with a net commitment of US$357 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in the  water sector (24%), followed by energy (14%), transportation (13%), governance (9%), education (9%), urban, and rural development (9%), health (8), agriculture (6%), environment and natural resources (4%), trade and competitiveness (3%), and social protection and labor (1%). Trust fund activities complement the Bank assistance program and finance a wide range of projects in key strategic sectors, including education, energy, agriculture, food security, and the social sectors.


The World Bank is one of Tajikistan’s most long-standing and trusted partners, a collaboration and portfolio that have strengthened and expanded significantly over the years. Since 1996, the Bank has provided US$1.11 billion in International Development Association (IDA) grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds, of which some US$858 million has already been disbursed.

The Bank’s strategy is closely aligned with the Government’s strategic objectives of ensuring energy and food security, expanding productive employment, and promoting regional connectivity as outlined in the new National Development Strategy 2030 and Mid-Term Development Strategy 2020.

Today, when the country is facing new challenges, both external and internal, World Bank Group assistance is critical to helping Tajikistan address social and economic vulnerabilities, preserve stability, and lay the foundations for long-term growth.

In the area of private sector development, for example, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have continued strong efforts to reduce the costs of doing business, strengthen the financial sector, and increase access to finance. With a combination of IFC and Bank support, the time it takes to register a business has been reduced, the use of the tax e-filing system increased, and an online permit application system established. In addition, the number of loans provided to individuals and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) has reached 308,000. Bank technical assistance has been critical to preserving financial sector stability and helping in the resolution of banks.

In agriculture, which employs 64% of the country’s population, land tenure for individual and family farms has increased. More than 120,000 individual and family farms have received use-rights certificates, benefiting more than 321,000 shareholders, of whom 43% were women.

In the area of social inclusion and service delivery, the World Bank has helped significantly to expand access to health care and water supply. With the assistance of the Bank’s Health System Improvement Project, performance-based health financing has had a successful rollout in 10 districts. In addition, the Municipal Infrastructure Development Project and Dushanbe Water Supply Projects I and II have exceeded their targets to increase access to improved water supply and sanitation in urban areas, reaching more than 750,000 people. 

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016



Despite regional headwinds, Tajikistan’s economy grew by a robust 6.6%, y-o-y, during the first half of 2016, supported by a substantial increase in public investment. However, a sharp increase in foreign-financed investment, coupled with a slowdown in tax revenues that failed to meet projections, turned a fiscal surplus of 1.5% of GDP in the first half of 2015 into a deficit of 5.5% of GDP in the first half of 2016.

An ongoing decline in remittances, which are the major source of foreign exchange, coupled with the legacy of directed lending, poor risk management among banks, and deficiencies in the central bank’s supervisory and regulatory framework, have exacerbated financial sector vulnerabilities.

Official survey data indicate that wage income rose by 4.7% per capita among poor households in 2015 compared to just 0.4% for the population as a whole. Both the national poverty and the extreme poverty rates declined during 2015, but the pace of poverty reduction slowed.

The annualized inflation rate increased to 5.5% during the first half of 2016, reflecting the pass-through effect of the depreciation early in the year. To ease inflationary pressures, the central bank tightened its monetary policy stance by increasing the refinancing rate and raising the liquidity support rate above the interbank rate.


The GDP growth rate is projected to remain broadly stable at 6% in 2016, supported by the ongoing expansion of industry, construction, and agriculture.  A fiscal adjustment in the second half of 2016 is expected to improve the Government’s budgetary position, though the overall budget deficit (including the externally financed public investment program) is expected to reach 4% of GDP.

Slowing growth and persistent weaknesses in the banking sector will have a negative impact on poverty and shared prosperity, though this will be partially offset by the effects of a higher minimum wage.

Poverty reduction is expected to continue, though at a slower pace, and the official poverty rate is expected to fall from 31.3% in 2015 to 27.3% by 2018.

Despite projected improvements in the external environment, which include an incipient recovery in Russia that should support a moderate increase in remittances, economic growth is projected to slow in 2017 as domestic vulnerabilities increase. The ongoing fiscal adjustment, though necessary to ensure medium-term fiscal and debt sustainability, will also contribute to lower growth rates.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016

Project Spotlight

Environmental Sustainability

Tajikistan ranks first among countries in the region vulnerable to climate change, as it is particularly sensitive to climate trends and has low adaptive capacity. Impacts from extremes in weather and climate are expected to worsen, putting development gains at risk.

A US$50 million investment program under the multi-donor Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), the program of the Climate Investment Funds, focuses on broad adaptation issues. The projects implemented under the PPCR are country-led, built on national strategies, and aligned with other donor-funded activities. In Tajikistan, the participating multilateral development banks include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). An additional US$10 million was granted to Tajikistan by the donor parties in 2013 to further support Tajikistan’s strategic program for climate resilience.

A government coordination mechanism was established in August 2011 to promote inter-ministerial cooperation, enhance engagement with civil society organizations (CSOs), and facilitate implementation of climate change adaptation initiatives. The latest project under this initiative, the Environmental Land Management and Rural Livelihoods Project, is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the PPCR and supports the widespread adoption of sustainable land and water management strategies and practices. To date, the project has supported approximately 7,500 households (or about 48,750 people, approximately 49% of whom are women) in developing and adopting rural production and sustainable land management practices that improve livelihoods and food security and restore productive natural resources.  Tajikistan is also part of the new World Bank–financed Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin, which began in 2016 to provide a regional platform for dialogue and collaboration on climate change activities as well as increased investments and capacity building to address climate challenges common to these countries. Tajikistan has received US$9 million under the program. 


Tajikistan: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments