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Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan earn less than many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but health indicators are generally better and literacy levels rival those in industrialised countries.

Tajikistan was hit by famine in 2001 and food insecurity remains a major concern.

Despite their oil and gas wealth, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan still lag behind some of their poorer neighbours on issues such as hunger and poverty.


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