Tajikistan has asked for additional assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its pandemic-affected economy.

In a letter written to ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, First Deputy Prime Minister, Davlatali Said notes that Tajikistan’s economy is in a force majeure situation and needs assistance, according to Radio Ozodi.

According to him, the Government of Tajikistan has developed the program to minimize the impact of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the country’s economy and 364 million U.S. dollars (USD) are needed for implementation of this project. 

If Tajikistan gets a loan, 176.5 million USD will be spent for enhancement of the health sector and protection of the vulnerable sections of the population and the remaining 187.5 million USD will be used to ensure food security and provide assistance to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular female entrepreneurs.  

Davlatali Said notes in his letter that due to pandemic unemployment rate in Tajikistan will reach 6.1 percent and the number of unemployed people in the country will reach 100,000 by the end of this year.

In February 2020, the unemployment rate in Tajikistan was 2.0 percent, Tajik official noted.

He also says that the economic growth rate this year will be 2.4 percent instead of the previously projected 7.5 percent.  

Tajik official also notes that Tajikistan may lose up to 20 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Recall, the Government of Tajikistan and the Asian Development Bank have signed a grant agreement for 50 million U.S. dollars.  The grant will be awarded to help the Government of Tajikistan mitigate the adverse economic and social impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The agreement was inked by Tajik Finance Minister Faiziddin Qahhorzoda and ADB Country Director for Tajikistan Dr. Pradeep Srivastava here on June 23.  

ADB approved the US$50 million grant to help Tajikistan strengthen the health sector, expand its social assistance program, ensure food security, and support MSMEs amid the COVID-19 pandemic on June 18.

Besides, ADB this month has approved a $30 million grant to Tajikistan to strengthen the skills of the country’s youth, women, and labor migrants to improve their employability and wages, and enhance the capacity of employment and migration agencies. 

The grant is accompanied by an additional $1.5 million grant from the Japan Fund for Information and Communication Technology, to be administered by ADB.