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USAID Highlights Progress in Afghanistan's Reconstruction

16 September 2005

Achievements in governance, economy, essential services outlined

The United States Agency for International Development issued a fact sheet September 16 documenting recent developments in Afghanistan’s reconstruction.

For additional information, see Rebuilding Afghanistan.

Following is the text of the fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

Fact Sheet
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Afghanistan Program Achievements
September 16, 2005

Maternal & Child Health Program

USAID’s health program focuses on the delivery of quality health services, health training and education, building capacity in the health system and social marketing. 

Achievements:

  • Coverage of health services reaches some 7.2 million people in 14 provinces of Afghanistan.  In the provinces where USAID works, 63% of the population has increased access to health services.
  • Every month an average of 989 patients are served at each of the 311 newly operational health facilities; 70% of patients are women and children under 5 years of age.
  • Trained 5,000 community health workers and almost 400 midwives to provide basic health services in their communities.

Education

USAID’s Afghanistan Primary Education Program is a comprehensive program to enrich the quality of and access to basic education. Main components of the program are accelerated learning; textbook printing and distribution; teacher training; and capacity building from Ministry personnel.

Achievements:

  • Accelerated Learning Program helps students in 17 provinces make up for lost years of schooling. There are approximately 169,000 students in daily attendance, 58% of whom are girls.
  • Since 2002, USAID has funded the printing and distribution of over 35.7 million textbooks.
  • Teacher training through radio now covers all provinces. 65,000 teachers listen to these programs at least once a week.  Face to face teacher training in modern teaching methods has reached almost 10,500 accelerated learning teachers.

Agriculture

USAID’s agriculture sector development program is improving food security and accelerating market-led growth.  USAID is linking Afghan agricultural producers to domestic and international markets by expanding trade, improving agricultural productivity and sustainability, harnessing science and technology, and strengthening education, farmer outreach and agricultural research.

Achievements:

  • Increased cereal sector output by 24%.
  • Over 23,000 loans have been disbursed to small Afghan businesses.
  • 230 miles of farm to market roads rehabilitated and 141 market centers constructed.
  • Over 750,000 farmers have been trained in agricultural best practices.

Alternative Livelihoods

USAID’s Alternative Livelihoods Program is one of the key pillars of the United States Government counter narcotics strategy.  The program provides the key economic incentives needed to bring farmers out of the poppy economy.

Achievements:

  • The two provinces that have received the most USAID alternative livelihoods assistance also had large declines in poppy cultivation in 2005 (Nangarhar – 96% decrease from 2004, Badakhshan – 53% decrease from 2004).  
  • Cash for work programs have generated $8.2 million in wages for Afghan farmers. 
  • USAID’s agriculture and alternative livelihoods program have together improved irrigation for nearly a million acres of farmland in Afghanistan – approximately 10% of farmland nationwide.

Economic Governance

USAID’s economic governance program assists the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) to design and implement sound economic policy that is sustainable, transparent and predictable.  USAID aims to strengthen economic governance in the public sector, building capacity and establishing an environment that enable the private sector to expand and produce jobs and income.

Achievements:

  • USAID’s work on taxation, particularly in customs, contributed to the GoA collecting $260 million in revenue last fiscal year (surpassing the IMF target), a 21% increase over the previous year. 
  • Three million property deeds have been registered, vastly improving land record storage and verification.
  • Three state-owned enterprises have been privatized with USAID’s assistance. 

Democracy & Governance

USAID’s Democracy and Governance program supports the establishment of a functioning, democratic system of government, helping create a broadly accepted national government that can promote national unity, reduce the propensity for inter-group conflict, and curtail the role of extremists. USAID accomplishes this through supporting the electoral process, re-establishing and institutionalizing the rule of law, facilitating local government reform, assisting with the establishment of a functioning legislative branch of government, and fostering the development of a viable civil society.

Achievements:

  • Civic and voter education will reach 4.2 million adults for the upcoming elections.
  • A network of domestic election observers established through training of political party and candidate poll agents; number expected to surpass 50,000 for 2005 elections.
  • USAID is preparing Parliament for operations post-election by i) rebuilding and equipping parliament infrastructure, ii) training permanent professional staff, and iii) training parliament members pre and post-election.
  • 24 courthouses in nine provinces completed, three near completion.
  • Assisted the drafting of new court organizations law, passed May 2005.
  • Codified, compiled, printed and disseminated 1,000 copies of Afghanistan’s basic laws in Dari and Pashto throughout the country for the first time ever.
  • Coordinating with eight regional Afghan organizations to help implement grass-roots capacity-building activities

Media

USAID supports media development in Afghanistan to promote the free exchange of information and ideas vital to the democratic process and development of civil society. USAID is building the capacity of local, state and independent broadcast media through technical support, equipment upgrade, hands-on training in balanced and accurate reporting, and development of an Afghan media policy and regulatory framework.

Achievements:

  • Supported 35 community-based, independent FM radio stations across the country.
  • Broadcast program coverage reaching 52% of the Afghan population via AM/FM; shortwave transmission of the programming covers all of Afghanistan as well as Afghan communities living in Pakistan and Iran.
  • Distributed 40,000 radios to vulnerable populations including rural women.
  • Trained almost 2,000 male and female media professionals.

Infrastructure

USAID is funding the construction or rehabilitation of infrastructure critical for further development and national integration. This primary focus is primary, provincial roads and bridges as well as industrial parks, power plants, irrigation and flood control projects, schools and clinics.   

Achievements:

  • In completing the 389km Kabul-Kandahar highway, improved transportation for 30% of the country and cut travel time along the highway in half. 
  • 704 km of provincial roads are under construction.
  • 346 schools and 452 clinics have been constructed or rehabilitated in at least 32 of the 34 provinces.
  • Three industrial parks are under construction in Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazar-e Sharif.  In Kabul, Coca-Cola has invested $25 million and has begun construction in the park.

Reintegrating Former Combatants

USAID contributes to the United Nation’s Development Program’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process.  USAID is working to ensure that reintegration assistance provided to 66,000 former combatants is sustainable.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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