Mid-Year Review of the Tajikistan Humanitarian Food Security Appeal 2008-2009

21 July 2009

The organisations participating in the Mid-Year Review of the 2009 Humanitarian Food Security Appeal for Tajikistan agree that, despite national and international efforts, the humanitarian situation in Tajikistan remains severe.  Multiple negative effects of the global economic and financial crises on the Tajik economy, combined with significant damage caused by natural disasters over the past year, have undermined ongoing efforts to improve the humanitarian situation. 

The latest data of the Food Security Monitoring System, conducted in May 2009, indicates that in rural areas severe food insecurity[1] has decreased from 600,000 people last year to 480,000 people this year; while moderate food insecurity[2] has increased from 1.1 million people last year to 1.4 million people this year.  However, compared to the data collected in January 2009, the trend in the numbers of people suffering from moderate food insecurity seems to be reversing.  In January 400,000 people were considered severely food-insecure in rural areas, compared to 480,000 now.  While no new surveys have been conducted for urban areas, there is no evidence of improvement since April 2008.  The main cause of the worsening situation seems to be an increase in unemployment related to the global financial crisis, which is affecting both migrants abroad as well as local Tajik entrepreneurs, with findings showing an increased number of bankruptcies. 

Rising world food prices and increasing fuel prices in late 2007 spurred higher transportation and food costs across the country, leading to deterioration in the food security of the population.  The severe winter of 2007-2008 combined with two years of drought conditions have caused serious damage to the agricultural sector and food security of hundreds of thousands of households.  The spring of 2009 brought new losses from floods and mudflows which damaged 40,000 hectares of land in 40 out 58 districts in the country.  The damaged lands include 22,000 hectares of cotton fields, 8,000 hectares of cereals, 3,000 hectares of fruit and vegetable gardens, 960 hectares of vegetable fields, and 221 hectares of potato fields.  The total economic loss is estimated at US$ 100 million[3] this year alone. 

The outlook for economic growth remains gloomy at least until the end of the year.  The country’s economy is expected to grow only at 2%, if at all, compared to 7% last year.  The inflow of remittances and state budget revenues has declined precipitously since the start of 2009, from $760 million during the first four months in 2008 to $508 million during the same period in 2009 (a drop of 33%).  Despite global deflationary pressures, inflation in January - April remained high at 10%.  Significant depreciation of the local currency has also diminished the purchasing power of many low-income families.  The cumulative negative impact of these factors on vulnerable households is only partially offset by targeted humanitarian interventions and diversification of household coping strategies. 

The revision of the appeal has been prepared in consultation with the Government of Tajikistan, donors, and the UN agencies and NGOs involved in relief activities.  The immediate aim of the appeal remains the same – to provide a temporary safety net to the most vulnerable poor people in urban and rural areas through the provision of food and cash.  The appeal also aims to avoid a prolonged relief situation by supporting the agriculture sector through the next planting and harvest cycle and the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure. 

The original requirements for the Humanitarian Food Security Appeal for Tajikistan were $34,746,555.  As of mid-June 2009, the appeal had received $17,572,638, or 51% of its original requirements.  Consequently, the objectives of the appeal have only partially been met and many projects have been revised to reflect resource constrains, changes in implementation periods and target areas.   Following the Mid-Year Review, the revised total requirements are now $39,912,974, leaving unmet requirements of $22,340,336.


[1]Food consumption is less than 80% of the average kilocalorie requirement  and expenditures are below the poverty line

[2]Food consumption is less than the average kilocalorie requirement and expenditures are below the poverty line

[3]All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@reliefweb.int), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2009 page.

  

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21 July 2009

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