Tajikistan. The coldest winter in the memory of the people caused a serious supply crisis in the poor and heavily indebted Tajikistan. In February, tens of thousands of people were found to be malnourished after food prices tripled in a few months. In the midst of the severe cold, many residents lacked electricity, heat, water and enough food. In the mountains, villages were isolated because of the snow and people froze to death. UN Children’s Fund UNICEF assisted icy hospitals with blankets and small gas heaters. The government met with representatives of international lenders to discuss crisis loans, and the UN appealed to the outside world for assistance to Tajikistan for the equivalent of close to SEK 200 million.
Neighboring Uzbekistan shut down electricity supplies when Tajikistan could not pay its bills. The electricity shortage was partly remedied by Turkmenistan doubling its electricity exports to Tajikistan, whose own power plants were running at low speed due to frozen rivers.
In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ordered Tajikistan to repay just over $ 47 million in loans granted on the basis of false information. The Central Bank of Tajikistan has acknowledged that it has provided air figures for the foreign exchange reserve in order to get higher loans and thus more support for agriculture affected by the severe winter.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of TJ in general and in geography as Tajikistan in particular.
In the wake of the cold winter, tensions and the struggle for water in the border region between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan increased in the Fergana Valley. About 150 Tajikistanis attacked those responsible for a dam built by Kyrgyz authorities. A threatening carnage was averted by opening the dam to fill irrigation channels on the Tajikistani side.
Opposition activist Dodojon Atovullo fled in the fall from his exile in Russia to France, fearing that Russia would agree to T’s demand for extradition.
In the fall, UN experts warned that a third of Tajikistan’s 6.7 million residents could be suffering from food shortages this coming winter, and calls for more help from the outside world. The government presented a program of measures to prevent the recurrence of last winter’s crisis. The supply situation had worsened during the summer due to severe drought and grasshopper swarms, and this year’s cereal harvest was 30-40 percent lower than in 2007.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Tajikistan in 2008 was 7,527,283, ranking number 98 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.090% yearly, and the population density was 53.7825 people per km2.