Output by the Central Asian economies dropped sharply after independence with subsequent fall in living conditions. Poverty is widespread, especially in rural areas. Communal services have broken down in many areas, straining relations between local authorities and the population. Only recently have some of the economies shown signs of improving, but GDP growth rates have not helped to reduce poverty and social inequality. The unemployment rates are high, the job markets are steadily deteriorating, and in all three countries almost half the population is under the age of 17, and will soon be joining the workforce, drastically increasing unemployment.
From collection: Environment and Security: Central Asia- Ferghana/Osh/Khujand Area
Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal