The United States Agency for International Development is working with the Government of Afghanistan to build a safe, free and prosperous future, at peace with its neighbors and a friend to freedom around the world.
USAID is funding the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure critical for further economic development and national integration. The primary focus is roads, including a portion of the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat Highway and approximately 1,000 km of provincial, district and rural roads. USAID is also investing in the construction and rehabilitation of power plants, transmission lines, dams, irrigation and flood control systems, industrial parks, bridges, universities, schools, and clinics.
USAID has helped create a more attractive environment for economic growth by providing assistance to the Government of Afghanistan to design and implement sound, sustainable, transparent, and predictable economic policy. This includes strengthening fiscal and monetary policy, enhancing revenue and expenditure management, improving banking supervision and the legal framework for the financial, commercial, and trade sectors. USAID also works directly with the private sector to strengthen competitiveness in domestic and international markets.
DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
USAID is supporting Afghanistan’s commitment to a representative, broadly accepted national government, capable of promoting national unity and curtailing the role of extremists. USAID is providing logistical and technical support for free and fair elections; is helping institutionalize the rule of law, to establish the National Assembly and to strengthen the core offices of the Presidency, as well as to strengthen local government and foster the development of a viable civil society, including a professionally trained free press and independent media.
SUPPORT FOR GOA and OTHER CROSS-CUTTING INITIATIVES
USAID directly supports the Government of Afghanistan (GOA) and a number of cross-cutting activities such as, gender programs, training, PRTs and the development of information technology.
ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOODS PROGRAM
The Alternative Livelihoods Program (ALP) provides Afghans with opportunities to participate in the licit economy in key poppy growing areas. In meeting immediate needs to provide economic opportunity, ALP supports labor-intensive cash-for-work projects to build or rehabilitate productive infrastructure, and funds income generation and training efforts for vulnerable households as part of Af-ghanistan’s counter-narcotics strategy.
USAID supports basic health services especially in rural and underserved areas. Over 660clinics have been built or refurbished and the number of people being served in the clinics has increased. In coordination with the Ministry of Public Health, USAID has also supported the training of health workers including doctors, midwives, and nurses, and supported national immunization, TB, malaria and Avian Influenza programs.
Following the defeat of the Taliban, USAID responded to the urgent need for schools, textbooks, trained teachers, and accelerated literacy courses for young women formerly denied an education. In the intervening years USAID has expanded support to education in Afghanistan to include radio-based teacher training, primary school teacher training, higher education programs, and community-based and remedial literacy training. With the Ministry of Education and communities, over 650 schools have been built or renovated and over-aged students are enrolled in accelerated learning classes and have the opportunity to obtain an education.
USAID supports the development of a market-based licit rural economy that reduces poverty by developing Afghanistan’s competitive advantages in agriculture production and diversifying its rural economy. Projects are designed to improve food security, increase agricultural productivity and rural employment, improve the management of natural resources and conserve biodiversity, and increase private sector investment in the agriculture sector.
PROVINCIAL RECONSTRUCTION TEAMS
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) are civil-military organizations that are designed to improve security, extend the reach of the Afghan government, and facilitate reconstruction in priority provinces. Their core objective is to implement projects that will improve stability so that more traditional forms of development assistance can resume. USAID’s programs work with PRTs to deliver services in less secure or underserved areas of Afghanistan. As USAID’s primary representative in the provinces, field program officers monitor all U.S. reconstruction and development efforts in the area of responsibility of the PRT and implement PRT-specific programming. They work to build relationships with local leaders, identify local needs, and report on significant developments.
Multilitral Investment Guarentee Agency (MIGA)
As a member of the World Bank Group, MIGA's mission is to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries to help support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives.
The development needs today are stark. Nearly 28 percent of the world's population—1.7 billion people—lives on less than a dollar a day. Billions of people live without access to safe drinking water or sewage treatment. Children can't attend school because there's no electricity to light classrooms in some countries, and no roads to get to school in others. The list goes on. Developing country governments cannot shoulder the burden—financially or technically—of addressing these needs alone.
Foreign direct investors can play a critical role in reducing poverty, by building roads, for example, providing clean water and electricity, and above all, providing jobs. By taking on these tasks, the private sector can help economies grow and avert the need for governments to use funds better spent on acute social needs, while taking advantage of the opportunity to make profitable investments.
MIGA and FDI
Concerns about investment environments and perceptions of political risk often inhibit foreign direct investment, with the majority of flows going to just a handful of countries and leaving the world's poorest economies largely ignored. MIGA addresses these concerns by providing three key services: political risk insurance for foreign investments in developing countries, technical assistance to improve investment climates and promote investment opportunities in developing countries, and dispute mediation services, to remove possible obstacles to future investment.
MIGA's operational strategy plays to our foremost strength in the marketplace—attracting investors and private insurers into difficult operating environments. The agency's strategy focuses on specific areas where we can make the greatest difference:
Infrastructure development is an important priority for MIGA, given the estimated need for $230 billion a year solely for new investment to deal with the rapidly growing urban centers and underserved rural populations in developing countries.
Frontier markets—high-risk and/or low-income countries and markets—represent both a challenge and an opportunity for the agency. These markets typically have the most need and stand to benefit the most from foreign investment, but are not well served by the private market.
Investment into conflict-affected countries is another operational priority for the agency. While these countries tend to attract considerable donor goodwill once conflict ends, aid flows eventually start to decline, making private investment critical for reconstruction and growth. With many investors wary of potential risks, political risk insurance becomes essential to moving investments forward.
South-South investments (investments between developing countries) are contributing a greater proportion of FDI flows. But the private insurance market in these countries is not always sufficiently developed and national export credit agencies often lack the ability and capacity to offer political risk insurance.
MIGA offers comparative advantages in all of these areas—from our unique package of products and ability to restore the business community's confidence, to our ongoing collaboration with the public and private insurance market to increase the amount of insurance available to investors.
United Nation's Development Program
UNDP has been present in Afghanistan since the 1950s, providing development assistance to the country and helping build the capacity of many national institutions. During the 1990s, while many government institutions were jeopardized by civil war and neglected by the Taliban regime, UNDP continued to assist communities throughout the country. During that decade, UNDP delivered US$200 million of assistance to Afghanistan, using its own resources as well as those mobilized through bilateral partners and its extensive outreach throughout the country.
The human development challenge for Afghanistan is enormous. According to Afghanistan ’s National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2004, the Human Development Index ranks Afghanistan at 173 out of 178 countries worldwide and its MDG indicators are below the majority of Sub-Saharan African countries. There are only two countries with lower poverty indices than Afghanistan, where the majority of the population lives below the poverty line – 70 percent. The percentage of Afghans with access to safe drinking water source is one of the lowest in the world – 23 percent – while just 12 percent of the population have access to adequate sanitation. As a result, preventable diseases remain prevalent.
The depth of poverty in Afghanistan is reflected consistently in all human development indicators, revealing a mosaic of a nation in need of sustained assistance. Not surprisingly, therefore, Afghanistan has been identified as a global priority for addressing the Millennium Development Goals.
Since the Bonn Agreement was signed in December 2001, UNDP has delivered more than US$600 million of assistance to Afghanistan.
Within Afghanistan’s broad National Development Framework (NDF) are many cross-cutting priorities that address gender equality, security and the rule of law, administrative and financial reforms, human rights, environmental integrity, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their communities, and reintegration of former combatants into society. Guided by the requirements set forth in the NDF, UNDP Afghanistan focuses its activities on the following UNDP global practice areas: poverty reduction, democratic governance, and crisis prevention and recovery.
All UNDP activities are undertaken in close collaboration with the Government of Afghanistan, UN agencies and donors. All UNDP programme activities aim to consolidate peace, enhance security and promote respect for the rule of law. UNDP projects also enhance government institutional capacity to provide public services and to create an enabling environment for legitimate livelihoods. UNDP works collaboratively with all partners to empower Afghan women and promote gender equality in Afghanistan, ensuring that gender issues are consistently mainstreamed and carefully paced.
The UNDP Afghanistan programme remains responsive to the changing needs of a nation still in transition from conflict to peace. Afghanistan is at a crucial point in moving from state building initiatives to emerging as a newly democratic state, and the opportunity to shift focus to longer term development and government support is at hand. Accordingly, the UNDP Afghanistan programme of activities is organized thematically into three pillars: State-Building & Government Support , Democratization & Civil Society Empowerment, and Promotion of Sustainable Livelihoods.
As UNDP develops and implements its regular Country Programme in Afghanistan, a major focus on results-based management will remain. Future activities concentrate on institutionalizing accountability, transparency and integrity in the public service, continuing to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions such as the Constitution of Afghanistan, and further promoting access to and respect for justice and human rights for all Afghan citizens
IntEnt, a bridging programme for SME's
IntEnt has been set up to facilitate the creation of new business by entrepreneurial and enterprising migrants. IntEnt distinguishes itself from regular SME promotion programmes with its special focus on bridging two worlds. Its services are primarily offered to migrants who wish to set up a business in their countries of origin. People live in two societies and search for ways to make use of experience and insights gained in either country. The clients appreciate that approach and seek assistance for that reason from IntEnt.
Afghanistan Business Council (ABC)
The ABC's main aims and objectives are defined as per following:
Persuade all UAE based Afghan businessmen to invest in Afghanistan,
Have close relations with Businessmen in Afghanistan,
Create the joint investment-venture in Afghanistan,
Provide a forum in which Afghan business executive in Dubai and business executive with Afghan interest may identify, discuss and pursue common interest regarding their activities.
Heighten awareness of Dubai's commercial position in the Middle East among the Afghan business community.
Form reference, aggregation and information of referees for Afghan individuals and companies that operate or intending to establish an activity in the territory of Emirate of Dubai.
Strengthen the state of commerce in Afghanistan by means of a vigorous private sector active in a vibrant free market.
Increase foreigner investment and trade with Afghan companies,
Safeguard Afghanistan's economic progress via the enactment and implementation of economic reforms.
Strengthen the state of commerce in Afghanistan by means of a vigorous private sector active in a vibrant free market economy.
Increase foreign investment and trade with Afghan companies
The drive to establish the organization stemmed from the need to incorporate ideas, interest and influence into one uniform body for the Afghan business community in the U.A.E. Based in Dubai, the ABC is a private non-profit organization representing Afghan businessmen.
The strength of the Afghan business community in the UAE has grown commensurably with the U.A.E realizing its position as a key regional player. The Afghan Business Council in Dubai consists of 170 members out of 326 businessmen who are registered by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry so for. ABC in Dubai represents a diverse and broad group of Afghan businessmen across a range of sectors. With an annual flow of 10 billion USD between Afghanistan and Dubai, U.A.E. based Afghans are the most influential of the Diaspora.
Since being granted the license to operate, ABC organized a number of seminars in the U.A.E. and attracted immense interest. The inaugural event, “Business in Afghanistan: Opportunities and Challenges” had marked the formal opening of the Afghan Business Council in Dubai, which took place on 21st of January 2006.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the common sense. We are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 185 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Each institution plays a different but supportive role in our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes.