Tajikistan is a landlocked, mountainous country that occupies one of the world’s most rugged and topographically divided regions. It is the smallest in area but the third largest in population among Central Asian republics. Between 1992 and 1997, civil war led the country into deep economic crisis, making it the poorest among the former Soviet republics. Its economy depends on exports of cotton and aluminium, making it extremely vulnerable to external shocks. Almost half of the country’s GDP is earned by migrants working abroad, especially in Russia.
Tajikistan is prone to a variety of natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, mudflows and landslides have the greatest potential to affect significant numbers of people. Every year there is an average of 9,000 quakes, often causing considerable damage to villages. An earthquake in Tajikistan can reach a magnitude of 8 - 9 on the Richter scale. Energy, food and water insecurity, as well as political instability and security risks also pose real threats to the well-being of the population of Tajikistan.
Small- and medium-scale international humanitarian assistance in Tajikistan is coordinated by the Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team, also known as REACT. The structure is composed of the Government, donors, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and local and international NGOs involved in disaster warning, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
OCHA supports the humanitarian community through its National Disaster Risk Adviser, based in the capital, Dushanbe. The adviser coordinates joint humanitarian activities, including needs-assessment missions, and leads inter-cluster coordination.