Dushanbe, Tajikistan, June 4, 2013 - The World Bank Group today marks the 20th anniversary of its cooperation with Tajikistan -- a partnership that has made an important contribution to reducing poverty and promoting economic growth and development in Tajikistan.
“Tajikistan’s partnership with the World Bank Group started in early 1990s, when the country was going through its most difficult times. After the civil war, our foremost priority was to help the country rebuild infrastructure, restore livelihoods, and support economic recovery,” noted Laura Tuck, World Bank Director for Strategy and Operations in Europe and Central Asia. “The people of Tajikistan should take pride in the achievements since then. Poverty declined by half since 2003 and the economy grew at an annual average rate of almost 8 percent in the last decade.”
Tajikistan joined the World Bank in 1993 and the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, in 1994. Over twenty years, the partnership with Tajikistan has evolved in line with changes in local needs and the global economy. Initially, the World Bank focused on post-conflict reconstruction projects in the late 1990s and provided emergency funding in response to food insecurity and natural disasters. Beginning in 2000, investments aimed at restoring productivity-led growth and job creation through improved education, better access to healthcare and safe drinking water, enhanced land rights, diversification of agriculture in rural areas, and improved business environment.
The World Bank Group, including its private sector arm IFC, invested US$924 million to support programs in a wide range of sectors aimed at unleashing economic growth and addressing the underlying constraints that impede development.
- In education, the World Bank supported the introduction of per capita financing so that schools can allocate resources transparently and equitably according to children’s needs. The rehabilitation of 2,600 classrooms in 320 schools provided a better learning environment for over 100,000 schoolchildren.
- In agriculture, the World Bank helped restructure collective farms and issue 44,000 land-use certificates to individual and family farms, increasing incentives for investment in land.
- Over 1 million people in Dushanbe and secondary towns have better access to quality drinking water.
- In health, over 4,000 healthcare system workers have been provided with training to improve their skills in provision of primary health care services, and around 20 percent of country’s Primary Health Care network has been completely renovated.
- The Pamir Energy project, supported by the World Bank and IFC in partnership with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and the Government of Switzerland, is providing round the clock electricity to 74 percent of Badakhshan residents.
The World Bank Group’s current partnership strategy aims to increase private investment for sustainable growth while addressing human development needs such as food security, access to drinking water, improved health and education services.
“We are looking forward to supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to undertake second-generation reforms that are needed in agriculture, energy, health, and education to increase the quality and access of services to the population,” added Marsha McGraw Olive, World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan. “At the same time, we plan to join other development partners in larger initiatives that can help the Government meet its more ambitious goals for reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity.”
“The private sector has a critical role to play in Tajikistan’s development by providing the capital, technology, and management skills to turn the nation’s many assets into long term, sustainable drivers of employment and growth,” said Christopher Miller, Country Officer for IFC. “We look forward to continuing to support reforms to strengthen the investment climate and to increasing our direct financing of Tajikistan's leading businesses."
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.
About the World Bank Group in Tajikistan
Tajikistan joined the World Bank in 1993 and the International Development Association (IDA) in 1994. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided approximately US$ 843 million in IDA credits, grants, and trust funds to improve people’s lives in Tajikistan. Around 34% of these funds have been committed for agriculture and the rural development sector. Other major sectors are economic policy and public sector – 17%, energy – 15%, water and urban development – 15%, education – 10% and health and social protection – 9%. The active World Bank portfolio in Tajikistan consists of 15 projects with net commitments of US$ 271 million.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. Since 1997, IFC invested US$ 81 million to support 32 private sector projects in the financial, hydropower, retail, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. IFC’s program includes annual technical assistance of approximately US$3 million in: improving the investment climate, promoting corporate governance, reforming tax administration, supporting the development of credit bureaus, supporting the microfinance transformation processes and improving the business environment for agribusiness. As of March 31, 2013, IFC’s investment portfolio in Tajikistan stands at US$24.4 million. The current portfolio is split, with 61% in financial market and 39% in manufacturing, agribusiness, and services.
As an institution of global expertise in development, the World Bank Group invests heavily in research to understand country development experience and shares this cross-country knowledge through analytical and advisory services. In Tajikistan, over 40 publications have been produced on economic and sector issues in the country since 2000. In addition, advisory services have brought international experience to Tajikistan on private sector development, health, education, energy, agriculture, investment strategies, and climate change.
As a low-income country, Tajikistan qualifies for International Development Association grants. Financing to Tajikistan doubled from US$ 75 million in fiscal years 2009-2011 to US$ 150 million in fiscal years 2012-2014. Tajikistan’s trust fund portfolio - one of the largest in Europe and Central Asia - is a critical complement to IDA resources, accounting for about 30% of total portfolio.