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Updated by Artiom Sici on 30.04.2018

In 2006, Tajikistan adopted the concept of social protection, which provides for a set of State measures and proposes a gradual extension of minimum levels of social protection, taking into account the financial capabilities of the State. The concept suggests two separate but interrelated approaches for the social protection system. The first approach is of compulsory State social insurance for different categories of employed people who receive income from labour, professional and entrepreneurial activities. The second approach is of targeted social assistance to vulnerable groups and segments of the population that do not have regular sources of income.

In 2013-14, intensive work was carried out to strengthen and modernize the social and health protection system in Tajikistan. One of the measures was the creation of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population.

The social protection system in Tajikistan consists of:

  1. social insurance schemes that protect workers in the event of positive social risks, such as pregnancy and childbirth, and negative social risks, such as illness and disability;
  2. State pensions for military personnel;
  3. social assistance for poor and vulnerable people and those people who are not eligible for social insurance;
  4. social services and
  5. medical services.

Social insurance covers workers with an employment contract, entrepreneurs, individuals and members of dehkan farms as well as labour migrants (on a voluntary basis). Insurance contributions are collected as social tax by the Tax Committee and then allotted to the Agency of Social Insurance and Pension, which pays the benefits. Social insurance comprises pensions for old age, disability and survivors; sickness benefits; maternity benefits; family benefits; unemployment benefits; a burial allowance for a member of a poor family as well as individual savings accounts.

State pensions for public sector employees cover military personnel, law enforcement officers, servicemen and their family members. They are financed from the State budget. The pensions are provided for retirement, disability and survivors.

Social assistance takes the form of State-financed benefits and subsidies for special categories of citizens such as veterans, people with disabilities, children, unemployed people and poor families, among others. The biggest social assistance programmes in terms of funding and outreach are the social pensions for old age, disability and survivors and the Targeted Social Assistance (TSA) for poor families.

Social services provide support to citizens in difficult life situations. A difficult life situation is one which violates the normal life of a person or cannot be overcome on their own such as disability, old age, consequences of occupational trauma and disease, orphanhood, neglect, homelessness, consequences of violence. The services are financed from the State budget. They are provided as support at home, inpatient facilities and temporary accommodation.

Furthermore, educational services are guaranteed by the State, in the form of free primary and secondary education, vocational training and retraining. These are aimed at personality development and effective interaction in society.

Medical services include several public health programmes providing free emergency medical care, free accommodation in social and medical institutions, free prosthetic and orthopaedic equipment. A Law on Medical Insurance was adopted in 2008, but is yet to be implemented. The Programme of Guaranteed Medical Services is the main healthcare programme in Tajikistan and is currently being expanded. It provides primary health care, specialized medical care in outpatient settings, medicines, vaccinations, care in hospitals and dental care. It is funded from the State budget and co-payment by patients.

In 2017, budgetary allocations to the social sector stood at TJS 9,093 million or 15.4% of GDP. Out of this, the allocation to social protection was TJS 3,249 million or 5.5% of GDP. A significant part of this was allocated to contributory and social pension payments, equal to TJS 2,578 million, while social assistance received TJS 252 million and social services received TJS 57 million.