In a press release issued in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 25, 2021, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) stated as follows:
“The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is firmly committed to its core mandate of undertaking a range of innovative programmes and projects to improve the quality of life of communities in many parts of the world.
“In Afghanistan, AKDN agencies have a longstanding engagement with a wide range of activities including healthcare, education, early childhood development, agriculture, rural infrastructure and economic opportunity, energy provision, climate resilience, telecommunications, cultural heritage conservation, and hospitality.
“AKDN’s operations are designed to adapt to evolving contexts and circumstances to ensure sustainability, effectiveness, and efficiency. Based in Kabul, His Highness the Aga Khan’s Envoy, Akbar Pesnani, and the President of the Ismaili National Council for Afghanistan, Amir Baig, also appointed by His Highness, will maintain ongoing co-ordination with the authorities, local communities, donor agencies, and other stakeholders who have supported AKDN’s programmes and initiatives over the past several decades.
“AKDN looks forward to continuing to work for Afghanistan’s peaceful and prosperous future, and to improving further the quality of life of the Afghan people.”
The press release also included the following contact information for further inquiries:
(1) Office of the Envoy of His Highness the Aga Khan to Afghanistan (Akbar Pesnani): Envoy.Afghanistan@AKDN.org;
(2) Office of the President of the Ismaili National Council for Afghanistan (Amir Baig): firstname.lastname@example.org; and
(3) Media Enquiries: Media.Afghanistan@AKDN.org.
Note: For Farsi version of the press release please click HERE
(Provincial and Country)
COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF AKDN’S WORK IN AFGHANISTAN
(1) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
To stimulate long-term economic growth in the country, AKDN operates across the spectrum, from working with women and youth in isolated rural communities to help create their own start-up businesses, to building micro-hydroelectric plants that help light homes, schools and health facilities in these remote villages, to investing in large-scale mobile phone services that provide network coverage to more than 6.5 million Afghans across the country’s 34 provinces. In cases like the latter, because of its institutional background and ethical framework, AKDN’s criteria for making commercial investments are not those of a typical investor. Investment decisions are based on whether a particular investment will improve the quality of life of those affected by it, not simply on bottom-line profitability. Profits that are generated are then reinvested in development initiatives….MORE
(2) PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE
Since 2003, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has worked on building human and institutional capacity as a Facilitating Partner for the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), a government programme that establishes Community Development Councils (CDCs) across Afghanistan. The programme is intended to empower local communities to identify and implement their own development projects…..MORE (Under Agriculture and Food Security)
(3) NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (NRM)
With around 80 percent of the Afghan population dependent on agriculture, interventions in this sector are central to reducing poverty rates. Over the past 10 years, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)’s agriculture and NRM programme has transitioned from distribution of agricultural commodities to more sustainable activities that have led to increased production, improved food security, and stronger connections to markets for local farmers….. MORE
(4) CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
AKDN’s cultural development activities are aimed at conserving and restoring Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, while stimulating local economic development and improving the quality of life for people living in surrounding neighbourhoods in Kabul, Herat and Balkh
KABUL: Since 2003, war-damaged quarters of the old city of Kabul have been the focus of an AKDN programme (the Aga Khan Trust for Culture) to conserve key historic buildings, including houses, mosques, shrines and public facilities. Upgrading works have also improved living conditions for some 15,000 residents of the old city in the neighbourhoods of Asheqan wa Arefan, Chindawol and Kuche Kharabat… MORE
HERAT: Herat has long been a city of strategic, commercial and cultural significance. It came under the rule of the Abbasid caliphate at the end of the eighth century and was renowned for the production of metalwork. At a crossroads between competing armies, traders and cultures, Herat was home to Persians, Pushtuns, Uzbeks, Turkomans, Baluchs and Hazaras. In the fourteenth century, it was sacked by Timur, only to experience a renaissance under the rule of his son Shah Rukh. Though repeatedly ravaged by war throughout its history, many significant Islamic monuments have survived. Beginning in 2005 and running over the course of the next decade, the Trust worked hard to safeguard this unique heritage…. MORE
BALKH: With the help of a number of partners, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture helped restore the Khwaja Parsa Shrine Complex and the Noh Gumbad Mosque in the northern province of Balkh…. MORE.
In Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) − previously Focus Humanitarian Assistance − engages with communities living in remote mountainous areas to increase their resilience to natural disasters and complex emergencies. The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat also supports communities to utilize an enabling habitat to enhance their health, education and economic development.
The approach is to predict where possible potential emergencies may impact homes and livelihoods, identify structural and non-structural interventions that can prevent or mitigate the impact of those hazards, and to build the capacities of communities and local and national governments to reduce their vulnerability to risk and to increase their capacities to help their neighbours.
To enable this, AKAH implements a wide range of disaster prevention and response initiatives in local communities, including disaster preparedness trainings, vulnerability assessments, risk mitigation activities and disaster relief efforts…. MORE (includes sections on Disaster Risk Reduction, Capacity Building, Community-based interventions, Water and Sanitation, and External Partnerships).
(6) HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
Afghanistan is highly prone to multiple natural disasters including earthquakes, landslides, flooding and avalanches. Earthquakes occur frequently, particularly in the mountainous north and north-eastern areas of the country, and often trigger landslides. Floods are common in the spring when snow begins to melt and rainfall is heavy. Many of the communities at risk are located in remote areas, and disaster relief efforts are made more difficult by the volatile security situation. The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) – formerly Focus Humanitarian Assistance – has been active in Afghanistan since 1996, when it was set up to respond to the acute food shortages caused by the ongoing conflict.
Emergency Management teams train to respond to disasters while conducting hazard and risk assessments. They also work to improve risk anticipation through the establishment of Early Warning Systems. AKAH has so far trained tens of thousands of volunteers for disaster response and management across Central and South Asia…. MORE
The microfinance sector only reaches about 227,000 borrowers in the country, less than 1 percent of the adult population. AKDN established microcredit programmes as early as 2002. In 2004, it launched First Microfinance Bank, the first of its kind under the country’s new regulatory structure. AKDN has pioneered the provision of innovative and flexible microfinance products in the country, which play an important role in driving economic development in rural areas…. MORE
Date Posted: August 26, 2021.
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