USD 20 Million New Japanese Funding for Livelihoods Generation in Rural Afghanistan

Kabul, 27 January

Japan will provide approximately USD 20 million more for the implementation of livelihoods-support projects in Afghanistan under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-supported National Area Based Development Programme (NABDP).

An agreement to this effect was signed in the presence of the Minister H.E. Mr. Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Takahashi, and the UNDP Country Director for Afghanistan, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez.

NABDP is the flagship programme under the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) for the implementation of economic empowerment, water, transport, energy and other critical projects across rural Afghanistan. The programme works to reduce disparities by investing in social organization, productive infrastructure, local economic development and sub-national governance initiatives. It strives to advance progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals – especially amongst Afghanistan’s rural population.

The new funding will impact approximately 200,000 people in 159 districts that are spread across 32 of the 34 Afghan provinces. In addition to gender-based empowerment, the key focus of the projects will be upon strengthening local governance through District Development Assemblies, improving access to services and facilities through productive rural infrastructure, and capacity development training targeting women and farmers to improve rural livelihoods. With the new funding signed today, the total Japanese contribution will be over USD 86 million to various projects under NABDP. Significant milestones achieved include the establishment of District Development Assemblies which have improved participatory decision-making at a local-level in nearly 360 districts across the country. As part of rural development support under NABDP, an estimated 630,000 families have access to improved transport infrastructure and nearly 640,000 households are protected from floods and other natural disasters. And over 70 Micro Hydro Power projects have provided electricity to nearly 11,000 households.

The signing event, held at the Government Information Media Center (GMIC) in Kabul, was attended by senior government representatives, international partners and local and international media persons. Project implementation is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and will be carried out through 31 December 2014.

National Area Based Development Program (NABDP) commenced as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2002, with the goal of contributing to a sustainable reduction of poverty and an improvement of livelihoods in rural Afghanistan. With the support of the international community, MRRD is working to rebuild rural Afghanistan through national Programmes, such as NABDP.