The 2012 Development Forum in Tajikistan last month marked the end of implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) for 2010-2012, and the launch of the government’s new mid-term development strategy (Tajikistan Living Standards Improvement Strategy) for 2013-2015. This Forum brought together the Government of Tajikistan and the Development Coordination Council (DCC), currently chaired by the World Bank and comprised of 26 multilateral, bilateral and UN based agencies.
While expressing their endorsement of the priority areas outlined in the new strategy, members of the DCC emphasized the need to sharpen the focus on scaling up fundamental activities that can improve the living standards of Tajik people in the medium term.
The main policy messages conveyed by the DCC to the Government of Tajikistan at the Development Forum were:
- To enhance the quality and access to education, healthcare and safe drinking water;
- To plan and be prepared for economic and climatic shocks, including by increased fiscal savings;
- To use scarce public resources wisely and increase transparency of public financial management; and
- To enlarge the role of the private sector in the economy, so as to create jobs, increase incomes of vulnerable and middle class groups, and raise revenues for the budget.
DCC members commended the government for its development efforts in the past three years, which resulted in faster than expected economic recovery due to the government’s anti-crisis strategy, a reduction in the poverty level from 47 percent to 39 percent, lower inflation resulting from efforts to maintain macro stability, and implementation of other reforms.
In the past three years, DCC members have supported Tajikistan’s robust recovery and socio-economic development with $1.3 billion in financial assistance, $288 million of which were provided as budget support to maintain social expenditures.
Looking forward, the DCC proposed working on several government-led priority areas in the new strategy through initiatives that put higher emphasis on delivering tangible benefits for the population by 2015.