Shirin Dehkan Farm in Buston Village, A. Jomi District, Khatlan Province, Tajikistan. The rural development sector, which includes agriculture, energy and water, is one of the key focus areas of the EU's latest partnership strategy with Tajikistan. Photo by: Ganga Shreedhar / IFPRI South Asia / CC BY-NC-ND
Following the signing of a peace treaty in 1997 that ended civil conflict, Tajikistan made considerable strides in economic development and poverty reduction — growth of its gross domestic product averaged 7.1 percent over the past five years, according to World Bank data. Meanwhile, the country’s poverty rate dropped significantly from 72.4 percent in 2003 to 39.6 percent in 2012. Extreme poverty likewise took a dip, from 41.5 percent in 2003 to 17.5 percent in 2009. Yet in spite of its progress, many of Tajikistan’s long-standing problems still linger.