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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

EiE Crisis Spotlight: Tajikistan


Location of Crisis


Timing of Crisis

Tajikistan Civil War - May 1992 to June 1997
Schools also damaged by sporadic natural disasters.
Afghanistan’s constant state of war since 1978 has also contributed to a large Afghan refugee population in Tajikistan.

Affected Populations

According to the UNHCR, as of January 2013 there are 6,687 displaced persons from outside of Tajikistan residing in the country, many of whom are Afghan refugees. There are also 1,104 displaced persons originating from Tajikistan residing there.

Brief Description of the Situation

A 5 year civil war broke out in 1992 between the government and militia groups causing massive damage to the country’s infrastructure. According to the UN it also caused the deaths of 50,000 people and the displacement of 1.2 million people. Although the situation has improved since then, there are still more than 1,000 displaced Tajikistanis.

As a result of decades of conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan, a constant flow of refugees has entered Tajikistan for whom the situation is made worse by the fact that Tajikistan is the poorest post-Soviet country.

There are also on average 150 natural disasters every year in Tajikistan, though 2012 saw that number increase by 104% to 306.

Impact on Education

Natural disasters in the country have caused the damage and destruction of educational facilities. In 2012, 47 hospitals, schools and kindergartens were damaged by natural disaster. The 5.7 Richter scale Rasht valley earthquake on May 13 was the most notable, mainly affecting the three districts of Nurabad, Rasht and Tavildara. It killed 2 and, according to OCHA, is thought to have affected 1,591 people. In terms of education, it caused 3 schools to be destroyed and 7 were damaged.

ECHO 2012 ©
A school in the Jomir district where children learn about natural hazards and take part in simulation exercises.
The on-going refugee crisis means there is a constant requirement for displaced persons, mainly Afghans, to receive a quality education. Many Afghans are enrolled in local schools but at present there is only one school focused entirely on Afghans, located in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital city.

According to Global Partnership for Education, the government of Tajikistan commits 19% of the state budget to education but despite this the funding gap to implement the government's Action Plan in 2012-14 is estimated at $ 131 million (out of a total $ 512 million). This is due to the urgent need to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, exacerbated by the damage caused by the uncharacteristically frequent natural disasters in 2012.

Tajikistan is a secular state but according to Human Rights Watch, there is government discrimination against Muslims and “far reaching controls over religious education and worship….authorities continue to try to suppress unregistered Muslim education throughout the country, brought administrative charges against Muslim teachers, and closed unregistered mosques.”

Education Actors Responding to the Crisis

Global Partnership for Education has provided education grants to the government, amounting to US$ $18.4 million in 2008, US$ 13.5 million in 2010 and US$ $16.2 million in 2013. These grants are used for school construction and resources.

Asian Development Bank, GIZ and the World Bank have also contributed grants to be used for the improvement and construction of educational facilities.

World Food Programme provides school meals to 360,000 primary schoolchildren and their teachers.

Needs and Challenges

Jess James Pickett 2006 ©
A remnant from the country's civil war.
For their 2010 – 2015 programme, UNICEF has identified the following challenges:
1) Early Learning.
90% of children in Tajikistan do not have access to pre-schooling.

2) Girls’ Education.
20% of girls dropping out without completing a full course of basic education (grade 9).

3) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools.
Many schools in Tajikistan don’t have access to facilities with adequate hygiene and sanitation, compounding by the shortfall in funding needed.

4) Life-skills-based Education.
UNICEF is focusing on implementing sex education programmes as well as classes on equality, violence, human rights and conflict risk reduction.

Tools and Resources

The following key INEE resources in English, Tajik and Russian can be used to support EiE efforts in Tajikistan.


Key Information Sources



Key Words

Earthquake, refugees, civil war, poverty, food insecurity


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