Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia which, due to its land-locked location, relies on good foreign policy relations with its neighbours the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and China. Tajikistan gained its independence together with the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan in 1991 in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The country is home to 60% of the glaciers that feed the rivers of the entire region. Tajikistan is therefore particularly important when it comes to the region’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change. However, Tajikistan remains the poorest nation in Central Asia due to its difficult geographical location, its predominantly young and rapidly growing population, a 1,400km border with an unstable Afghanistan and limited employment opportunities that have proven unable to keep pace with the rapid population growth.
After the crisis of the 1990s, which was triggered by economic collapse and a devastating civil war, Tajikistan made remarkable progress between 2000 and 2019, with the national poverty rate decreasing from 83 to 27%. Although the country is one of the lowest carbon emitters in the world, it suffers enormously from the adverse effects of climate change, which are particularly noticeable in mudslides, late frosts and avalanches, and which affect the poor rural population.
Key development challenges therefore exist with respect to combating the effects of climate change, improving the health care system and building a functioning financial sector. The private sector in particular, with its micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), is enormously important for the country’s economic development. However, there is little or no access to financing opportunities. Lack of funding for healthcare, as well as a lack of or obsolete health care facilities, create significant deficits in the health sector.
KfW Development Bank has been operating in Tajikistan since 2001. On behalf of the Federal Government, it supports Tajikistan in the following areas:
Since 2002, KfW has been supporting the Tajik government with implementation of its national programme for fighting TB and, since 2010, with implementation of a national programme for maternal and paediatric care and emergency medicine. The TB programme comprises the ongoing modernisation and provision of equipment to specialised hospitals. The mother-child care programme has seen the redevelopment of many regional and district hospitals. The modernisation of a national perinatal centre is also planned.
To promote micro and family businesses, KfW is committed to the development of the financial system. To this end, it has participated in the establishment of two microfinance banks. This will also help other private microfinance institutions and banks to target their business towards micro and medium-sized enterprises to finance the processing of agricultural products. By financing housing, KfW is supporting house construction, renovation as well as energy efficiency measures.
However, as part of the BMZ 2030 reform strategy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is ending bilateral development cooperation, so that no new commitments are planned apart from the multi-year projects and measures that are still running.