Economic crisis impact in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey

03 Dec 2009

The global economic crisis in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States has significantly undermined growth and threatens to set back many of the gains of the past decade.

As a result, UNDP – in partnership with ILO, UNICEF and FAO – has organized a conference bringing together high-level representatives from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey in order to examine regional policy responses to the crisis. The conference, hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 7-8 December, will give participants a chance to exchange ideas and experiences on useful policy measure to address the ongoing crisis. In spite of recent macroeconomic developments, the region is set to experience a deep social impact. According to the ILO, unemployment has already risen sharply, increasing by 45 percent in Russia and 43 percent in Turkey in the first half of 2009. As the recession deepens in Russia and other destination countries for labor migrants, the remittances that cushion household incomes across the region have tumbled, falling by one-third in Moldova, for instance.

Meanwhile, the World Bank predicted in April of this year that the crisis could push as many as 35 million people in the region back into poverty in 2009 and 2010 alone. This would reverse a full one-third of the poverty reduction gains of the past 10 years.

The conference, which features key note speakers including the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, will focus on both the short and long term challenges posed by the crisis. Of immediate concern is an economic downturn marked by increased unemployment in spite of some signs of recovering growth in addition to massive swings in commodity prices and an ongoing credit and liquidity crunch.

Posters were produced to illustrate the messages of the UN Ministerial Conference in Almaty on the social and human development impact of the global financial crisis in the region. The posters are part of campaign calling on governments to strengthen their social protection policies.

For more information on the UN Ministerial Conference please visit:
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/eurpro/geneva/what/events/almaty2009/index.htm