More than 41 percent of households in Tajikistan report reducing their consumption of food

11 months ago Web Desk 0

Data through the month of May from the Listening to Tajikistan survey reveal severe disruptions in the labor market, and sharply falling remittances.


More than 41 percent of households reported reducing their consumption of food (up nearly 17 percentage points over 2019).


Among those households seeking any medical care in May, 17.5 percent report being unable to obtain it. Less than 2 percent of households report receiving any financial or in-kind support from the government since the outbreak.


Only about 33 percent of households report that their children engaged in educational activities following mandatory school closures.


Work stoppages and unemployment spiked in May, reportedly accompanied by a 70 percent decline in open job listings in comparison to January 2020, and official statistics report accelerating food price inflation.


Domestic employment sharply deteriorated in May, according to the survey. The share of households reporting that no member had worked in the preceding 7 days reportedly spiked from 20 percent in March to nearly 40 percent in May.


The share of household heads reported as having worked in May fell by 16 percentage points over the same period. Nearly 63 percent of respondents report changes to the working conditions of members due to COVID-19, and about 8 percent of those who halted work were reported as “unlikely to resume”.


The share of respondents reporting a deterioration in their family’s finances spiked by the largest amount since reporting began, from 8 percent in March to nearly 23 percent in May.


Households reporting that they have “no savings” rose from 29 percent in January to more than 41 percent in May 2020, and less than half say that they could pay for an emergency expense of 100 somoni (about $10).


About 71 percent of respondents report being very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and their livelihoods.


Remittance income reportedly fell dramatically in April but recovered some lost ground in May. More than 61 percent of recipient households reported a decline in remittances in April, the highest share ever recorded in the L2T survey and more than 39 percent higher than the same time last year.


The share of households with current migrants abroad remains quite high. About 35 percent of households provided details of at least one member currently abroad. As reported in international media, there have been very limited travel options organized to bring migrants home to Tajikistan.


Reports of reduced food consumption rapidly increased to 41 percent of the population in May, far higher than the 24 percent recorded at the same time last year. Overall food security further deteriorated in May across a range of indicators, with rising shares reporting going hungry, reducing dietary diversity, and worries over obtaining enough food.


Similar increases were seen in reduced ability to pay for utilities, and in coping mechanisms such as selling assets and reduced spending on medical care. However, this level of food insecurity is not unprecedented in Tajikistan – some relevant indicators rose to similar levels in 2019.


Source: Asia Plus