Almost one-third of Tajikistan's 6.7 million inhabitants may not have enough to eat this winter, United Nations experts worry. In an attempt to avert an emergency, the UN has issued a fresh global appeal for assistance.
The Tajik government has developed a 64-point program in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the hardships experienced last winter, when many areas of the country were left without adequate supplies of heat and electricity, to go along with a scarcity of food. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Since then, the country has experienced further adversity - in particular a severe drought and a locust infestation - that has devastated crops. Grain harvest totals for 2008 are down between 30 percent and 40 percent over the previous year. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
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Andrew Iacobucci is an editorial assistant at EurasiaNet.