Tajikistan is a landlocked, lower middle-income, food-deficit country with a population of approximately 8 million, three-quarters of whom live in rural areas. The mountainous landscape confines the arable area to just 7 percent of the country’s surface and poses enormous challenges to food security during the winter season.
Despite improving food security in recent years, only 24 percent of Tajikistan’s rural population is food-secure and 50 percent are marginally food-secure. The majority of the population spends between 70 percent and 80 percent of their income on food, yet around one-fifth of the population is affected by food insecurity. According to findings of the 2015 Global Hunger Index and FAO, Tajikistan tops malnutrition among the former Soviet republics, and 33.2 percent of Tajikistan’s population is suffering from undernourishment.
In 2014, Tajikistan reported to have the sixth highest rate of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe and Central Asia.
The country is the poorest in the Commonwealth of Independent States, with 47 percent of the population living on less than $1.33 a day and 17 percent on less than $0.85 a day. Tajikistan ranks 129 out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index.