Tajikistan: 2012 humanitarian overview (as at 31 Dec 2012)
Building resilient communities in Tajikistan
Over 2 million at risk of food insecurity amid rising number of disasters
In 2012, Tajikistan experienced over 306 natural disasters that took the lives of 26 people, left thousands of houses in need of major repairs or complete reconstruction, killed livestock, and damaged infrastructure that is vital for many isolated villages. On average, about 150 small- and medium-scale disasters occur annually in Tajikistan, affecting at least 10,000 people.
In addition to a series of natural disasters, over 2 million people are estimated by WFP to be at risk of food insecurity. In the first half of 2012, during the lean season when winter stocks were running out, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification declared a humanitarian emergency in one district and warned of a dire situation in others. Most of Tajikistan’s territory then was classified as an acute food and livelihoods crisis. The situation has slightly improved thanks to better harvest in Tajikistan and exporting countries, as well as the Government’s and humanitarian community’s response to the needs of the affected people.
Integrated approach to humanitarian and development issues required
The Government’s capacity to respond to natural disasters has visibly improved, and in 2012, the Government covered urgent needs of most people affected by natural disasters. Besides food aid, required emergency support from the wider humanitarian community was often limited to fuel. Nonetheless, the growing occurrence of natural disasters in a poor country highlights the need to address Tajikistan’s vulnerabilities comprehensively by integrating the work of humanitarian and development actors.
Development cannot ignore the shaky operational context, while disaster response cannot ignore the likelihood of more disasters occurring in the future.
Globally, UNDP and OCHA are promoting resilience – helping vulnerable communities affected by disasters adapt and withstand future shocks. OCHA and humanitarian partners are currently exploring the idea of piloting the global resilience project in Tajikistan. This project will require humanitarian and development partners to work together, side by side, to ensure that their programmes create synergies and help build stronger and better prepared communities.