Tajikistan's economy enjoyed about 8% growth annually over the past decade thanks to a favorable external environment and high prices for its main exports, but following the crisis it now faces challenges related to energy and to job creation.
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Dushanbe, December 12, 2014 – Best international practices and national approaches in measuring poverty were the focus of the international conference held in Dushanbe today. The conference was hosted... Show More + by the Ministry of Economic Development of Tajikistan in partnership with the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, and the World Bank, as members of the Council for Poverty and Middle Class Measurement.First Deputy Prime-Minister Davlatali Said and World Bank’s Poverty Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia Carolina Sanchez-Paramo opened the conference, which was attended by representatives of the government, donor agencies, media, and civil society organizations. The conference presented global poverty measurement methods and limitations, compared national poverty measurement and institutions with international experience, and discussed the proposed National Poverty Measurement Methodology for Tajikistan.The proposed National Poverty Measurement Methodology is based on the Household Budget Survey (HBS) and is the first country-owned methodology. Previously, from 1999 to 2009, poverty in Tajikistan was measured using the Tajikistan Living Standard Surveys (TLSS). However, the two approaches – HBS and TLSS – employ different survey designs, and therefore, the data they produce are not comparable. The new approach is based on international best practice of measuring poverty and will help the Government of Tajikistan to collect comprehensive and reliable household data and to report on poverty trends and indicators in Tajikistan on a regular basis.“We are glad to see Tajikistan’s efforts to adopt a national poverty measurement methodology, which is a result of many years of work by the government, national experts, think tanks and other stakeholders in partnership with the World Bank,” said World Bank’s Poverty Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia Carolina Sanchez-Paramo. “This methodology will enable the country to have regularly updated national data on poverty and welfare of the population, track the trends and inform important policy decisions.” International experts from Colombia and Georgia shared their experiences of how these countries transitioned towards establishing better institutional arrangements for measuring poverty and adopted improved country-owned poverty methodologies, which enabled them to collect and publicize poverty related information on a regular basis. The World Bank is partnering with Tajikistan in the area of improving capacity to collect high-quality policy-relevant data through multi-topic household surveys, data analysis, and data utilization in policy formulation. Through support from a DFID-funded Trust Fund, the World Bank has supported the Government’s efforts to establish an intergovernmental Council for Poverty and Middle Class Measurement under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The Council brings together key government entities and has a coordination role on issues related to poverty data.About the World Bank Program in Tajikistan:In line with the World Bank Group’s global goals, the World Bank Country Partnership Strategy in Tajikistan focuses on reducing extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by expanding opportunities for the private sector and vulnerable groups. The current World Bank portfolio comprises 13 investment operations with net commitments of US$220.6 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in urban, rural and social development (21%), followed by agriculture (18%), energy (16%), governance (10%), environment & natural resources (7%), health, nutrition and population (7%), education (7%), water (7%), trade and competitiveness (5%), social protection and labor (2%).The World Bank Group is committed to further support Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population. Show Less -
Furthermore, the project improves access to banking services, as all beneficiaries’ earnings are deposited in their bank account, which is often the first time that a beneficiary opens such an account... Show More +. In Rumi District, the World Bank Country Manager met with participants of the manual cleaning of on-farm irrigation canals. The project implementation has started in the first three target districts - Jomi, Rumi and Jilikul – with more than 4,000 people being employed in cleaning of the canals. The project helped clean the total of 1,211 km of the prioritized secondary and tertiary canals and 223 km of collector and drainage networks. It also helped rehabilitate 16 km of irrigation canals, 590 outlet gates, and 197 observation wells in these three districts.In Pyanj District, where project activities were just launched, Ms. Veevers-Carter met with the Chairman of the District Mr. Tavakkalzoda. They discussed possible solutions that the project could bring for rehabilitation and maintenance of the irrigation facilities, which suffer from heavy sedimentation from the Pyanj River. Ms. Veevers-Carter also met with members of the local Water Users Association (WUA) “Navruz”. As WUAs play an important role in maintaining the irrigation infrastructure, the project works to establish and strengthen 20 new WUAs as well as provide training and capacity building to 33 existing WUAs in the project areas.About the Project:The PAMPII is being financed through a US$18 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and a US$27.9 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Multi-Donor Trust Fund Program. The target districts under the new project are characterized by high levels of food insecurity, but demonstrate good agricultural potential. As such, the following districts will be the focus of irrigation and drainage infrastructure rehabilitation activities under the project: Jilikul, Jomi, Rumi, Rudaki, Yavan, Hamadoni, Vose, Bokhtar, Pyanj, Hissor, Khuroson, and Nosiri Khusrav.It is expected that the project will directly benefit an estimated 22,000 people through the provision of temporary work only, with at least 20 percent of them being women. The rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure will improve access to irrigation on about 190,000 hectares of land for the benefit of 750,000 residents in all target districts. Based on the pilot, 10 percent increase in crop yields is expected as a result of the project. The project will also support the ongoing institutional and policy reform in water resources management. In addition, emergency flood control works along a high-risk section of the Tebalai River in Kulyab city will reduce the risk of flooding for approximately 400 urban households as well as agriculture land and irrigation systems supported through the project down in Vose district.The Public Employment for Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources Management Project is one of four active projects in agriculture sector in the World Bank portfolio for Tajikistan, which are aimed to address food insecurity and improve agricultural productivity. As the World Bank commemorated its 20 years of partnership with Tajikistan in June 2013, the agricultural sector stands out as the largest recipient of World Bank overall financing, with over US$300 million estimated to date. Given that agriculture contributes 21 percent of GDP and accounts for 64 percent of employment, it will continue to be a priority area of the World Bank’s mission in Tajikistan.The current World Bank portfolio comprises 13 investment operations with net commitments of US$220.6 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in urban, rural and social development (21%), followed by agriculture (18 %), energy (16%), governance (10 %), environment & natural resources (7%), health, nutrition and population (7 %), education (7 %), water (7 %), trade and competitiveness (5%), social protection and labor (2%) Show Less -
Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes already affecting millions of lives, but solutions exist WASHINGTON, November 23, 2014 – As the planet warms further, heat-waves and other weather ex... Show More +tremes that today occur once in hundreds of years, if ever, would become the “new climate normal,” creating a world of increased risks and instability. The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources shift, sea-levels rise, and the livelihoods of millions of people are put at risk, according to a new scientific report released today by the World Bank Group.In parts of Central Asia and the Western Balkans specifically, unprecedented heat extremes could occur in over 60 percent of summer months and drought risk could increase by 20 percent in a 4°C warmer world, the report finds. At the same time, projections suggest an increase in riverine flood risk, mainly in spring and winter, due to more intense snow melt in spring and heavier rainfall in the winter months. Climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable because the Earth’s atmospheric system is locked into warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, the report said. Even very ambitious mitigation action taken today will not change this, it said.“Today’s report confirms what scientists have been saying – past emissions have set an unavoidable course to warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people the most,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “We’re already seeing record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, and drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean becoming drier.”“These changes make it more difficult to reduce poverty and put in jeopardy the livelihoods of millions of people,” Kim said. “They also have serious consequences for development budgets, and for institutions like the World Bank Group, where our investments, support and advice must now also build resilience and help affected populations adapt.”Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes are already affecting people around the world, damaging crops and coastlines, and putting water security at risk, according to the report, Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal. Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming below 2°C, the report said.“The good news is that we can take action that reduces the rate of climate change and promotes economic growth, ultimately stopping our journey down this dangerous path,” Kim said. “World leaders and policy makers should embrace affordable solutions like carbon pricing and policy choices that shift investment to clean public transport, cleaner energy and more energy efficient factories, buildings and appliances.”Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal is an analysis of likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming above pre-industrial levels on agricultural production, water resources, ecosystem services, and coastal vulnerability across Latin-America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and parts of Europe and Central Asia. It builds on a 2012 Bank report, which concluded the world would warm by 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century if we did not take concerted action immediately. The report, prepared for the World Bank Group by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, reveals how rising global temperatures are increasingly threatening the health and livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations, crucially magnifying problems each region is struggling with today.A common threat across the three regions is the risks posed by heat extremes. State‐of‐the‐art climate modeling shows that “highly unusual” heat extremes, similar to the heat-waves experienced in the US in 2012 and Russia and Central Asia in 2010, increase rapidly under a 4°C emission pathway.It also reveals that the risks of reduced crop yields and production losses for the regions studied increase significantly above 1.5°C to 2°C warming. It notes that declines in agricultural productivity will also have impacts outside core producer regions, with strong repercussions on food security, and may negatively affect economic growth and development, social stability and well‐being.Key findings across the regions include:Latin America and the Caribbean: Heat extremes and changing precipitation patterns will have adverse effects on agricultural productivity, hydrological regimes and biodiversity. In Brazil, without additional adaptation, crop yields could decrease by up to 70 percent for soybean and up to 50 percent for wheat at 2°C warming by 2050. Ocean acidification, sea level rise, tropical cyclones and temperature changes will impact coastal livelihoods, tourism, health, food and water security, particularly in the Caribbean. Melting glaciers would be a hazard for Andean cities.Middle East and North Africa: A large increase in heat-waves combined with warmer average temperatures will put intense pressure on already scarce water resources, with major consequences for human consumption and regional food security. In Jordan, Egypt, and Libya, crop yields could decrease by up to 30 percent at 1.5 to 2°C warming by 2050. Migration and climate‐related pressure on resources may also increase the risk of conflict.Western Balkans and Central Asia: Reduced water availability in some places will become a threat as increases in temperatures head toward 4°C. Melting glaciers in Central Asia and shifts in the timing of water flows will reduce the amount of water available in summer months and increase the risk of torrential floods. In the Western Balkans, climate extremes will pose major risks to agricultural systems, energy, and human health. A 2°C warming would already entail significant impacts, such as in Macedonia where yield losses are projected up to 50 percent for maize, wheat, vegetables and grapes by 2050.The report also warns that, if warming continues unabated, irreversible changes on a large scale could be triggered. In northern Russia, forest dieback and thawing of permafrost threaten to amplify global warming as stored carbon and methane are released into the atmosphere, giving rise to a self-amplifying feedback loop. Methane emissions could increase by 20 to 30 percent across Russia at 2°C warming by 2050.Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, said, “From the Western Balkans to Siberia, from Europe to Central Asia, the impacts of extreme climate events, such as floods, droughts, and forest fires, are already being felt, all with significant human and economic cost, as well as environmental impact. Across the Europe and Central Asia region, countries are requesting our assistance to reduce vulnerability to climate change and move towards climate-smart development. For example, we are supporting Romania in operationalizing its national climate change strategy. We are working with Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina following the devastating floods that hit earlier this year to strengthen their disaster response preparedness and disaster recovery capacity. We are also working with the Russian Federation to improve forest fire prevention; and we are supporting the countries of Central Asia to establish regional collaboration to enhance climate resilience.”“The report makes crystal clear that we cannot continue down the current path of unchecked, growing emissions. Leaders must step up and take the necessary decisions on how we manage our economies towards clean growth and resilient development,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change. “Urgent and substantial technological, economic, institutional and behavioral change is needed to reverse present trends. Economic development and climate protection can be complementary. We need the political will to make this happen.” Show Less -