Through a Global Development Alliance (GDA), the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. have created, in the words of USAID’s Alex Thier, “a ground-breaking private sector-led model for development in Afghanistan,” using investments in the Afghan private sector in integrated development, to turn profits into social development programs in health, education, livelihoods, and governance.
In Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Development Network’s strengths range from telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services to participatory governance, education, and community-based planning. This partnership applies AKDN’s Multi-Input Area Development (MIAD) approach in a new model for long-term social and economic development that contributes to stability and prosperity.
The $30.7 million MIAD GDA combines two components: 1) A set of grant-funded, community-based, socio-economic initiatives, 2) An investment component that invests in a variety of large and small enterprises as economic drivers to create jobs and over time provide returns that will be partially channeled into a special social development fund for remote Badakhshan Province, where poverty poses a special challenge.
Improving the Quality of Life through Sustainable Development
The integrated development program thus has two objectives:
1) Improve residents’ quality of life including their social and economic development status
2) Establish a model for a sustainable, replicable Financing Mechanism for both regional social and economic development
Over five years, AKF and its sister agencies within AKDN are undertaking social development activities that include: intensified capacity building for community-elected representatives; increased agricultural production and food security, rehabilitation of natural resources, and improved access to markets and information; technical and vocational training for better livelihoods; education initiatives focused on teacher training and promoting girls’ education; and health interventions for safe drinking water, and improved community awareness about health and best practices.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government and/or AKF USA and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).