Tajikistan is a small landlocked country in the heart of Central Asia, bordered by Afghanistan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan. Roughly one-tenth of its 7 million total population lives in Dushanbe, the capital city. The country has abundant water resources, contributing to its specialization in cotton production and a considerable hydropower generation potential. Only 7 percent of its total land area of 143,000 square kilometers is arable. High mountain ranges across its territory make communication between different parts of the country difficult, especially in winter. Tajikistan is highly susceptible to natural disasters, and is regularly affected by floods, landslides, and droughts. Up to 40 percent of the country’s national workforce is employed abroad (mostly in Russia) and sends home remittances equal to more than one-third of its gross domestic product. However, with global financial crisis and economic downfall in Russia associated with sanctions the remittance incomes are already adversely affected. Preliminary forecasts from IMF and the World Bank suggest that remittance income will fall by more than the 31% fall in remittance income. Lastly, low agricultural productivity and rudimentary safety nets still leave those below the poverty line vulnerable to shocks and stresses, including women who have experienced lowered rates of poverty reduction than men. The above factors combine to make Tajikistan one of the poorest and most vulnerable economies in the world.
Unless urgent and timely action is taken, Tajikistan will suffer tremendously. It is in the context of this reality that Tajikistan’s National Development Strategy until 2030 outlines hazard risk reduction along with adapting to climate change as critical for the country to achieve its long-term sustainable development goals and objectives. To give effect to this, Tajikistan has tapped into a number of funding sources and is implementing several related projects. In 2018, Tajikistan made a significant step towards advancing the climate change adaptation agenda by tapping into another such source with the endorsement of its Project Concept Note for Adaptation Fund Project. The endorsement paves the way for the development of the full project proposal, that will be undertaken by UNDP in Tajikistan in partnership with the Committee for Environmental Protection, under the project “Facilitating Climate Resilience in Tajikistan” funded by the Russian Trust Fund for Development.