Globally, COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure not only on health care systems but on the socio-economic situation. The crisis has exposed and jeopardized inefficiencies in the countries’ social protection system, food security, trade and financing strategies and Tajikistan is not an exception. Development experts forecast contraction of Tajikistan’s economy up to 2% of GDP which is comparable with a consequence of the civil war in 1990th and of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. Since the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic, in response to the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan to mitigate the risk of COVID on socio-economic development of Tajikistan, UNDP, along with other UN sister agencies and development partners, has been supporting the Government of Tajikistan with procurement of critical medical supplies, assessing the longer-term recovery needs and helping the country develop an integrated and inclusive response to the pandemic and its impact on people, economy and environment.

To help an evidence-based targeted response and recovery, UNDP Tajikistan Office initiated a comprehensive assessment of socio-economic impact of COVID-19, in close collaboration with the Government of Tajikistan and inputs from all development partners. The aim of the assessment was to understand the immediate, medium and longer-term impact of COVID-19 across all regions in the country on lives and livelihoods of people of Tajikistan as well as on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector. The assessment is based on primary and secondary sources of information and the findings highlight the need to mount a robust response to provide direct assistance to vulnerable people in rural and urban areas, accelerate reforms, build resiliency at household and institutional level for quick adaptation to socio-economic challenges, and introduce innovative ways of functioning and service delivery.

This Report is an attempt to trigger a wider debate about inclusive, equitable and sustainable development in the context of pandemic and post-COVID impact but also to contribute to evidence-based new programming and policies in the Republic of Tajikistan.

The assessment was conducted by the team of consultants: Mr. Shuhrat Mirzoev, national expert and Ms. Nezhat Sedaghat, international expert, in collaboration with the Limited Liability Company 'Tahlil va Mashvarat', a member of 'Z-Analytics Group', under the overall guidance of UNDP management and day-to-day supervision by Sustainable Economic Development team led by Ms. Zebo Jalilova.

UNDP is particularly grateful to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, State Committee on Investments and State Property Management, Agency on Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tajikistan, Tourism Development Center, National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan and other partners, civil society and private sector representatives for their contribution to the Assessment, sharing data and information, and collaboration at different stages of the report preparation. UNDP Tajikistan Office acknowledges support and contribution of the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, UN Agencies, development partners, as well as leadership of respective thematic groups within the Development Coordination Council (DCC) for sharing secondary data and contributing in enriching the report.

As a long-term development partner of Tajikistan, UNDP will continue its collaboration with the Government of Tajikistan, development partners, civil society and private sector to support response to COVID-19 impact as well as to promote achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, September 2020
Dr. Pratibha Mehta,
Resident Representative,
UNDP in Tajikistan

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