Tajikistan, located in the heart of Central Asia, is home to some of the world’s highest mountains. Despite the country’s natural beauty, its alpine landscape has affected the living conditions of many people in Tajikistan. Below are the top 10 facts about living conditions in Tajikistan.
Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Tajikistan
- Transportation. Lack of options for transportation has had a tremendous effect on Tajikistan’s regional connectivity. Therefore, in 2018 the Asian Development Bank’s board of directors issued a $90 million grant to improve the 40-kilometer section of Dushanbe and Kurgonteppa that connects two major cities in Tajikistan. Road transport improvement is important for Tajikistan’s economic development because it could help bring more opportunities for trade and may lead to private sector growth.
- Water Access. In Tajikistan’s rural areas, access to improved or basic water resources has increased from 45 percent to 71 percent since the year 2000. Although Tajikistan has made progress in providing access to improved drinking sources, it is still unequally distributed among rural and urban areas. In rural households, only 31 percent have access to “safely managed water” compared to 57 percent of urban households. In 2017, Tajikistan, with the help of USAID technical assistance, passed an amendment into law that would give local municipalities more authority to address the need for accessible and clean drinking water.
- Education. Tajikistan’s economic development can be seen through the level of education among its people. The level of education among the youth is lower compared to the level of education in older generations. This results from the current and inefficient teacher training program. However, the Government of Tajikistan, with the support of USAID, has targeted 75 percent of primary teachers with in-service training.
- Child Labor. According to the UNICEF MICS 2005, about 200,000 children aged 5-14 were involved in child labor. Although most children attend school, about 10 percent do not. Those who participate in child labor have often dropped out of school and it is more prevalent in rural areas due to financial constraints.
- Health. The country faces challenges in the areas of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis as well as maternal and child health. Preventative care is not easily accessible because health care facilities are often far away and farther for those who live in rural areas. USAID has worked with the Ministry of Health to improve essential health care services across the country.
- Income. About 70 percent of Tajikistan’s population lives in rural areas where agricultural labor is the only employment available. Agriculture makes up for 25 percent of the economy’s gross domestic product and employs 53 percent of the population. Although according to the Commonwealth of Independent States, almost 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and live on less than two dollars a day.
- Employment. According to a World Bank report, the economy of Tajikistan is not creating enough jobs for the rapidly growing workforce. It was reported that only 43 percent of Tajikistan’s “total working age population is in the labor force.” Women and the youth population are also highly under-represented in the labor force. The formal private sector in Tajikistan is not yet fully developed.
- Housing. Due to the country’s mountainous landscape, the people of Tajikistan are often faced with inadequate housing. It is very common for families of different generations to live under one household because of the lack of housing in both rural and urban areas. Homes tend to be overcrowded with leaking roofs and many lack heating systems.
- Food. In Tajikistan, food insecurity is increasingly high, especially among women and young children. Children under 5 often suffer from stunting due to malnutrition which results from malnourished mothers. USAID programs have been implemented to teach families about proper nutrition and also help farmers grow more nutritious crops. This will not only benefit farmers financially but also improve the health of the people of Tajikistan.
- Gender Equality. In Tajikistan women still face discrimination and inequality. Gender-based domestic violence is still prevalent in many households. Women also have very little or no involvement in community decisions. It is quite the same for the political aspect as only 19 percent of legislators are women. Although there are obvious gender disparities in social, economic and political in Tajikistan, organizations such as U.N. Women have worked with women in Tajikistan since 1991 to promote gender equality along with promoting women empowerment.
The top 10 facts about living conditions in Tajikistan show that the government is making progress in terms of bettering the quality of life for the people of Tajikistan with the help of many organizations and programs.
– Jocelyn Aguilar