Tajikistan remains the poorest nation in Central Asia. Its civil war in the 1990s severely damaged the country’s already weak economic infrastructure and caused a sharp decline in industrial and agricultural production. Uneven implementation of structural reforms and widespread unemployment have kept the economy in a fragile condition and left families struggling with extreme poverty, poor healthcare and isolation. The country is also vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, avalanches, mudslides, energy shortages, locusts and crop failure leading to increasing food insecurity.
- Conflict & Governance: Creating community cohesiveness by engaging groups on water, land and energy improvements
- Disaster preparedness: Helping remote villages create response plans in the event of natural disasters
- Health: Supporting clinics and training health workers to improve childbirth outcomes and address postpartum depression
- Women & Gender: Educate adolescent girls about their rights and the risks of early marriage and pregnancy
Tajikistan: Sewing for success
Last week I visited Mercy Corps’ first youth employment project to get started under the Tajikistan Stability Enhancement Program, the program I’m assisting with this summer. In the sweltering heat, we entered a small room with five girls working away on sewing machines.
Tajikistan: Vegetarian Food Diaries in Tajikistan, Part 1
I've been in Tajikistan for a few days now and I finally admitted to my colleagues that I packed most of a suitcase with food because I was that worried about my ability to find vegetarian food here. They all laughed at me because the food here is actually quite good, even for vegetarians.
Tajikistan: Six days on the road
I'm both exhausted and exhilarated by my six-day journey through the red clay rocky back-roads of Tajikistan's border area with Kyrgyzstan in the Rasht Valley.
Tajikistan: Cooking with Jonibek
One weekend morning, I walked into the kitchen of the house here in Garm to see what I could scrounge up for breakfast. I smiled when I noticed there was coffee ready.
Tajikistan: Lord of the bees
Beekeeping is an extremely valued activity in many areas of the world, and honey enjoys a nearly mythological reputation in many cultures. It should – promises weren’t made about a land of milk and honey for nothing.
Tajikistan: What's in a name?
When I’ve studied abroad, I have usually avoided using a local moniker — including last summer when I lived with a Tajik family and studied Tajik. It didn’t matter too much to me that my name, for whatever reason, is completely unintelligible for a variety of cultures.
Tajikistan: What would you do for an interview?
Amy promised me pancakes if I wrote a blog entry, and I’ve accepted her terms.
Tajikistan: A fragile peace is shaken
Tajikistan: A ritual for healing
This past Saturday we celebrated the National Day of Reconciliation, which marks the day when President Imomali Rakhmonov and United Tajik Opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri signed a peace agreement in Moscow in 1997.
Tajikistan: Lost and found: notes from last summer
I’m lost. Well, not completely. I know I’m in the remote Rasht Valley, looking for the village where my Tajik colleagues and I will sleep for the night.