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Friday 20 January 2012

Tajiks Send $3Bln Home


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DUSHANBE (Interfax) – Tajik labour migrants in Russia transferred $2.96 billion to their home country in 2011, 33.6% more than in 2010, Tajik National Bank deputy chairwoman Malokhat Kholikzoda (ملاحت خلیلزاده) told a news conference Thursday, Interfax reported. 

“Money transfers from Russia to Tajikistan grew 33.6% to $2.96 billion last year, which amounted to 45.4% of gross domestic product,” she said.

The previous record in money transfers to Tajikistan was set in 2008 with $2.52 billion, or 49% of GDP, she said. According to the Tajik Migration Service, about 1.03 million Tajik labour migrants are permanently employed in Russia.

Tajikistan is thus deeply reliant on Russia to keep its struggling economy afloat, ensuring any diplomatic argument, no matter how ostensibly trivial, is an issue of national concern. Last November, when a Tajik court sentenced two ethnic Russian pilots flying for a Russian company to 8.5 years in prison for smuggling spare airplane parts, Moscow protested by recalling its ambassador and rounding up Tajiks for deportation. The response prompted panic in Tajikistan and unusually harsh criticism of President Emomali Rakhmon. His administration backed down and released the pilots.

However, a new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on labour migration from Tajikistan shows that many children left behind are exposed to bullying and suffer from depression as well as increased aggression and rebellion. The report, released recently, looks at the impact on health, education, well-being and economic activity of labour migration in Tajikistan, where dramatic social and economic changes since the end of the Soviet Union and national independence have led to widespread migration. Many children in the study were found to have been strongly affected by their parents’ migration, exhibiting symptoms of depression, withdrawal, increased aggression and greater rebelliousness.

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