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Wednesday 28 December 2005
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TAJIKISTAN: Poverty reduction initiative announced

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

DUSHANBE, 26 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - A new initiative to reduce poverty in Tajikistan was announced on Sunday by President Emomali Rakhmonov, the day one day before National Reconciliation and Consent Day, a public holiday marking the end of the civil war that ravaged the former Soviet republic between 1992 and 1997.

The announcement was made at a meeting with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the United Nations Millennium Development Director, as part of a three day visit to Tajikistan which ended on Monday.

President Rakhmonov gave a copy of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Needs Assessment Report on Tajikistan to Sachs and also to Queen Noor of Jordan. Queen Noor, who was also on the trip, has become a strong international advocate for Tajikistan after her official visit to the country in 2004.

"The report was prepared by five working groups together with the Tajik government and the UN. It includes measures which the government should undertake and determines the necessary amount of external aid required to achieve those measures," Khakim Soliev, Tajikistan's economy minister, said.

According to the report, it will be necessary to double international aid from the current US $ 180 million a year in order to achieve the MDGs.

Soliev said that much progress had already been made in recent years and that the poverty level had dropped by 22 percent since the 1990s. Nevertheless, the standard of living in Tajikistan remains low being the poorest of all the Central Asian republics. Gross national income per person per year was only $190. Of the country's 6.3 million inhabitants, 64 percent live below the national poverty line, according to the latest World Bank figures.

"Tajikistan is the only country in the Central Asian region, which has completed the UN Millennium Development Goals Needs Assessment Report and identified its needs," William Paton, the UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan, said.

The memorandum on cooperation between Tajikistan and the UN was signed on Sunday afternoon by economy minister Soliev on the part of the Tajik government and Paton on behalf of the UN.

Queen Noor noted that an increase in aid could be achieved rapidly if donors would only meet earlier commitments.

"Many countries promised to provide much aid to Tajikistan, but these promises remained unfulfilled," Queen Noor said. "It is important that such countries as Tajikistan really try to achieve these goals. The world community should support them."


 Theme(s) Democracy-Economy-Education-Environment-Food Security-Health-Human Rights-Peace Security
Other recent TAJIKISTAN reports:

At least 17 killed by mines in 2005 –TMAC,  13/Dec/05

Sharp rise in trafficking arrests,  13/Dec/05

Gender NGOs receive support from UN,  9/Dec/05

Border guards seize 122 kg of heroin,  28/Nov/05

Rate of HIV/AIDS infection up by 20 percent,  23/Nov/05

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