Afghanistan had suffered 20 years of civil war since the Soviet invasion in 1979. And since the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001, the country has continuously been trapped into an unstable security situation, despite the presence of the NATO troops. Due to the situation, the country’s development has been retarded in various areas such as infrastructure, social system, education, and healthcare.
As of 2008, Afghanistan’s primary education rate, literacy rate, GDP per capita, and average life expectancy were at the lowest level in the world. And today, the country is still caught up in a vicious cycle of the reproduction of poverty.
To overcome such situations, Afghanistan started to formulate national development strategies in 2008, aiming to build a new country based on economic development and peacebuilding. However, the rural areas have been left behind of development, still suffering pervasive poverty.
A farmer in Herat province wrote in a letter to NICCO, “We hear that, in some parts of the world, there are countries where one farmer can feed 100 people. But here in Afghanistan, we cannot even feed two people, due to the lack of farm equipment, fertilizer, knowledge, etc.”
About the project
With these backgrounds, NICCO has been engaged in support programs for rural areas in Herat, west Afghanistan, since March 2011. In 2013, the third year of the five-year plan, we added Ghor province to the program beneficiaries.
The support programs include:
– to develop educational environment through activities such as building schools and conducting teacher training courses, in order to provide children with quality education in a safe, appropriate environment;
– to empower women through education and vocational training such as literacy programs and IT and English courses, so as to improve professional skills and job opportunities; and
– to support enhancement of agricultural skills and revenue generating opportunities, to improve the farmers’ knowledge, skills, and income.