IMF completes mission to Tajikistan
(May 31) Representatives from the International Monetary Fund concluded a two-week mission to Tajikistan on May 30, during which it discussed reforms and the possible resumption of talks to start IMF-supported programs in the country. The IMF press release commented favorably on recent financial reforms and efforts to unify the official and market exchange rates, which had diverged in 2016 in the midst of an economic crisis in the country. It also described additional steps that the Tajik government would need to take in order to facilitate closer cooperation with the IMF. – IMF
ADB to provide $500 million for rural housing in Uzbekistan
(June 1) The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $500 million to support the construction of up to 29,000 affordable housing units in nine regions of Uzbekistan as part of the State Affordable Rural Housing Program. A similar program was implemented from 2012 to 2015, through which over 41,500 houses were constructed. ADB believes that the program will have positive impacts on rural employment and women’s economic welfare, which it claims will generate up to 220,000 jobs and direct at least 30 percent of all mortgages to women. – ADB
Uzbekistan is ready to export agricultural products to East Kazakhstan
(June 1) Uzbek ambassador to Kazakhstan Ikrom Nazarov discussed exporting Uzbek horticulture to eastern Kazakhstan. Nazarov cited Uzbekistan’s forecasted growth in agricultural output over the next three years and declared that this can benefit Kazakh consumers through reduced food prices. – Fresh Plaza
Dushanbe mayor fires directors of two large bazaars for failing to regulate food prices
(June 2) The directors of the Dehkonbozor and Shohmansur markets have been fired for failing to control food prices during Ramadan, under a resolution signed by Dushanbe mayor Rustam Emomali. According to a graphic included in the article, prices for several common food items such as peppers, tomatoes, melons, apples, and meat have increased sharply since the start of the holy month. Mayor Emomali, the son of the Tajik president, has treated the price increases as a priority issue. – Asia-Plus
Central Asian ecological forum ongoing in Turkmenistan
(June 5) Turkmenistan is hosting a three-day international conference devoted to climate change, water use, and sustainable development starting on June 5. The Central Asian Regional Ecological Centre is coordinating the event with the State Committee for Environmental Protection and Land Resources of Turkmenistan. Representatives from a wide range of international organizations are participating in the event. – State News Agency of Turkmenistan
Analysis & Other Information
Growth in the Europe and Central Asia region continued to pick up in the first half of 2017
(June 4) World Bank released its report on global economic prospects, forecasting stronger economic growth in Central Asia for the rest of 2017. Rising oil prices, supportive policies, and an easing of political tensions are credited with improving the outlook for the region. Moreover, all five Central Asian countries are forecasted to experience higher economic growth in 2018 than in 2017. The report also contrasts the strengthening of relations between Central Asian countries to the ongoing disputes among other ECA countries that are posing risks to growth. – World Bank
Change of tune coming from Uzbekistan on Rogun Dam?
(June 5) Public statements by Uzbek politicians appear to suggest a softening of their position toward Tajikistan’s proposed Rogun Dam. Uzbekistan has historically opposed the dam largely over concerns for its irrigation-dependent agriculture, while Tajikistan has sought Rogun to boost the country’s erratic electricity supply. Ties between Uzbekistan and its neighbors have improved in the past year and some analysts believe this can set a cooperative framework that could potentially extend across a number of spheres. Although Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who came into power in 2016, has registered his disapproval of the project, he has also signaled a greater willingness to negotiate than his predecessor. – Times of Central Asia
Natural disasters kill 27 people in Tajikistan in 2017
(June 6) Natural disasters have left 27 people dead since the beginning of 2017, as Tajikistan suffered a series of avalanches during the winter. According to a spokesperson for the government Emergency Situations Committee, last winter’s snowstorm was the strongest in 50 years. – AKIPress
Uzbekistan discusses delimitation of borders with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
(June 6) Uzbekistan discussed the delimitation and demarcation of its disputed borders with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan this week. While talks with Kyrgyzstan appear to be preliminary, Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry declared that a protocol has been signed with Tajikistan. However, its details have not been made public. According to independent Tajik news agency Asia Plus, approximately 60 out of the 1,333 kilometers dividing Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have yet to be demarcated. – Ferghana News, 24.kg, Asia Plus
Global Economic Prospects: A Fragile Recovery.
World Bank Group. 2017. World Bank Report.
Kyrgyz Republic : Third Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility, and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria
International Monetary Fund. June 2, 2017. IMF Country Report No. 17/143.
Factors associated with self-rated health among migrant workers: results from a population-based cross-sectional study in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Kumparatana P., Cournos F., Terlikbayeva A., Rozental Y., Gilbert L. International Journal of Public Health. June 2017. Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 541-550.
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The articles included in this news digest have been generated from online sources. Any opinions stated herein are not representative of, or endorsed by, the International Food Policy Research Institute or its partners.