About the region


million people living with HIV


of people excluded from society


million people emigrated to work in another country


youth unemployment


of primary energy supply from fossil fuels


of Roma families went to bed hungry at least once in the last month because they could not buy food

Europe and Central Asia

Central Asia

Sellers at the local market in TurkmenistanSellers at the local market, Turkmenistan. Photo: UNDP in Turkmenistan / Claire Ladavicius

(Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Central Asian countries face a particular set of interrelated human development challenges that combine inequalities and a lack of job opportunities, ethnic tensions and human rights issues, scarcity of water resources and risks of disasters, as well as heavy reliance on remittances and shock-prone extractive industries.

Wide disparities in human development continue to exist, income inequalities, and poverty are widespread and gender inequalities remain.

Central Asia continues to be vulnerable to external instability stemming from water scarcity, transboundary water disputes and unsustainable energy use, community-level tensions, and a range of cross-regional effects of instability and conflict, such as organized cross-border crime in its southern region.


South Caucasus and Western CIS

Plan of action to fight climate change in AzerbaijanPlan of action to fight climate change in Azerbaijan. Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan

(Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia / Belarus, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine)

Development in the South Caucasus and Western Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries continues to be affected by weak democratic practices and increasing income inequalities, bleak job perspectives and intra-regional disparities, as well as—in many parts of the sub-region—tensions related to disputed territories, and cross-border and post-conflict situations.

Poverty rates remain high particularly in the South Caucasus. The dynamics of the European Union neighbourhood policies influence development agendas of the entire sub-region, and some countries have geared their foreign and domestic policies towards European integration, while others see little appeal in a closer affiliation with Europe and are considering Eurasian integration as an alternative.


The Western Balkans and Turkey

Sticky business in KosovoSticky business in Kosovo. Photo: Arben Llapashtica

(Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey)

Countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey share a joint European aspiration, the EU agenda driving the domestic policy priorities and reform processes.

Development in the Western Balkans continues to be affected by legacies from recent conflicts and persisting inter-ethnic tensions within and across borders, and only slowly improving sub-regional cooperation.

While economic growth is expected to remain low, countries continue to struggle with multiple human development challenges related to skills gaps, high unemployment, social exclusion and widening income inequalities, translating into the highest inequality ratios in the region.

Balkan countries also face environmental risks, such as water scarcity and land degradation.

* All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).





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