The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to devastating health, economic and social crises worldwide. In response to the increasing need to analyze the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, this study presents insights regarding its short-term impacts on household economic activities and food security in Tajikistan. Furthermore, it analyzes differing impacts of the pandemic depending on household characteristics and household coping mechanisms to income shocks caused by the pandemic.
The findings demonstrate that the household employment and income immediately decreased, and food security worsened after the onset of the pandemic. Although all households are affected by the pandemic, the adverse impacts on households vary depending on their location (rural or urban), income level prior to the pandemic, and household size. Urban households are more affected in terms of income and employment losses, while rural households are more likely to face food insecurity. Higher-income and larger households are mostly self-employed; they have lost employment and income because of sharp declines in self-employment business activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Lower income and smaller households also suffer in terms of lost income; however, the extent is not as great as that experienced by higher income and larger households. Lower income households are more prone to food insecurity. Furthermore, the result illustrates that households increased borrowing and reduced food and health expenses as coping measures. The full impact of the pandemic is yet to be determined as the pandemic is still ongoing. Nevertheless, these findings suggest the short-run impacts of the pandemic on households in a developing country where government-mandated lockdowns were not implemented.
This paper was prepared as part of a research project entitled “Study on Remittances and Household Finances in the Philippines and Tajikistan,” which was conducted by the JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development. It was published in the Economics of Disasters and Climate Change and can be accessed via the following link.