Starting in 2001 with the establishment of a new democratic government in Afghanistan the country has invested intensively on the development and reconstruction process and has achieved significant achievements towards economic development.
Rural development has been recognized as an important sector by the Government of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) is the responsible institution to manage the process and has significantly invested and focused on this important sector. MRRD’s mission is to contribute to poverty alleviation in rural areas by empowering communities and fostering economic and social opportunities.
The Ministry manages five national programs towards rural development in Afghanistan:
The National Solidarity Program (NSP): Through this program, MRRD mobilizes communities, organizes elections to establish Community Development Councils, builds the capacity of elected members to manage projects, and provides grants to the communities so they can implement projects that they have prioritized. The National Area-Based Development Program (NABDP) works at the district level and organizes the establishment of District Development Assemblies (DDAs). The program trains DDA members on several issues pertaining to rural development and implements projects identified as priorities by DDAs. The Rural Water Sanitation and Irrigation Program provides access to potable water and sanitation facilities to rural people. It also provides hygiene education and works on small scale irrigation systems.
Infrastructure. - The National Rural Access Program (NRAP) builds and rehabilitates tertiary and secondary roads. - The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP) supports the formation of Saving Groups, Village Saving and Loans Associations, and Enterprise Groups in rural areas. It also supports the development of small and medium size enterprises, facilitating their access to financial products and providing them with technical support.