Falkingham, Jane and Klytchnikova, Irina
The Profile of Poverty in Tajikistan: an update 1999 to 2003. Southampton, UK, Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, 48pp.
(S3RI Methodology Working Papers, A06/02).
Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and ranks 113th among 175 countries according to the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2003. This paper uses data from the Tajikistan Living Standards Survey (TLSS) conducted in May-June 2003 to examine the level and composition of poverty within the country. It compares the results with those derived from analysis of the 1999 TLSS to look at changes over the previous four years. The findings indicate that there has been a significant reduction in the proportion of households living in poverty in Tajikistan over the period 1999 to 2003. In 2003, 64 percent of the population was poor compared with just over 80 percent in 1999. Nevertheless Tajikistan remains the poorest country in the CIS-7 region, with poverty rates of 54 percent in Kyrgyz Republic (2001) and 45 percent in Moldova (2002).
The gains in living standards have not been equally distributed across the county, with virtually no improvement in poverty rates between 1999 and 2003 in Dushanbe, urban RRS and Sugd. Moreover, although poverty rates have fallen, inequality appears to have widened between 1999 and 2003. While there has been growth in per capita expenditures across the distribution, growth has generally been higher in the top half of the distribution. Other indicators of welfare, including subjective measures, indicate increasing levels of stress and social exclusion. Thus urgent reforms are necessary to improve governance and so foster private sector development and to complete the process land reform which has been delayed in cotton growing areas such as Khatlon. Only then will the poorest be able to benefit from the peace.
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