DUSHANBE (Reuters) -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has told his people to stock up on food to protect themselves from starvation in the impoverished state.
Tajikistan, an ex-Soviet republic north of Afghanistan, has been hit hard by the global economic downturn and is concerned that violence spreading from the south could destabilize the country.
"Everyone who is able to do so should...create stocks of food, especially wheat, for the next two years," he said in an address published by state news agency Khovar on July 28.
"Due to the financial and economic crisis as well as natural disasters...providing people with food is becoming a problem in many countries and, according to experts, this process will continue."
Tajikistan, where the average monthly wage is $75, is still recovering from a devastating civil war in the 1990s that killed more than 100,000 people.
It has reported several gunfights with what it described as Taliban-linked Islamist militants this month. Tajik security services have also said they detained a group of militants planning attacks on the capital Dushanbe.
The International Monetary Fund expects transfers from Tajiks working abroad to decline by 30 percent this year, taking economic growth to just 2 percent from 7.9 percent in 2008.