Forest Preservation at a Remote Area in Badakhshan Province Generates Rural LivelihoodsNov 13, 2015A forest that blankets a mountain along the Kishim River in Tagab district of northeastern Badakhshan province and where wild animals, rare plants and a variety of natural fruit trees inhabit has been preserved. Behind this success is Rural Green Environment Organization (RGEO), which, as a result, has been able to generate livelihood opportunities for rural communities dwelling near the forest. This organization has been engaged in protecting the natural resources in the area since 2002.
Women Entrepreneurs from Herat Link with Kabul-Area MarketsOct 27, 2015Women from across the western province of Herat are engaged in a number of entrepreneurship activities that include making handicrafts and jewelry, growing saffron and processing dry fruit such as pistachio and almond. Women entrepreneurs from Herat City, and Gozara, Injil, Karukh, Koshan and Zindajan districts of Herat province are particularly active in running and expanding their small-scale businesses.
A Home-Based Embroidery Business Witnesses Twofold Increase in ProfitOct 27, 2015Azima Safi, 50, runs a small embroidery business in Jalalabad. She learned sewing handicrafts when she lived with her family as a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan during the 90s. As the oldest kid in the family, she had to quit school at grade five and work for someone else making handicrafts at a low daily wage, which she spent on her siblings’ schooling. Upon returning to Afghanistan in 1998, she started up a home-based embroidery business of her own in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province.
Jewelry Making Brings Hope to Impoverished Women in HeratOct 27, 2015A UNDP programme trains women in jewelry making so that they can provide their families with incomes and escape abusive situations Every day Sediqa, 26, walks for two hours to get to her jewelry making class. “I save my transportation allowance to buy food for my children,” she says.
Religious Inter-school Competition Inspires Young LeadersOct 27, 2015Kabul, Afghanistan: “I want to be the President of Afghanistan.” This is Zhania’s response when asked about her ambitions. Zhania Zainab is the top scorer among the students of her school and for the last three years has attended a madrassa (religious school).
Herat Women Get Legal Help to Fight Desertion and Domestic ViolenceOct 27, 2015Herat, November 2011: Fatima (name changed), resident of Injil on the outskirts of Herat city in western Afghanistan, was married to her first cousin Sultan, at age 15. Unable to cope with the daily physical violence of her husband who also forbade her from attending school, and daily arguments with her mother-in-law, she ran away to her parent’s home. It has been seven months since Fatima left her husband’s home and her condition is exacerbated by the fact she is in an advanced stage of pregnancy.
Afghan Women Muster Courage to Escape Domestic ViolenceOct 27, 2015Newly-married and pregnant Amena recently took the bold step of leaving her violent husband. She is among the millions of Afghan women for whom life has improved over the past decade. Today, more women are able to access services, like legal aid, participate in decision-making, and more girls are enrolled in school than a decade ago.
Preserving a pristine landscape in BamyanOct 27, 2015Jawzari lies in pristine foothills of central Afghanistan’s Baba Mountains, about 15 kilometres south of Bamyan City. It’s an area of great beauty and environmental significance that needs to be preserved – but in a way that protects the livelihoods of Jawzari’s several isolated farming communities who depend on local rangeland for food, fire, water and shelter.
Cleaning up the Streets in BamyanOct 27, 2015Due to an upsurge in urban migration, new townships are appearing all across Afghanistan. But how do the new residents in these towns dispose of their waste? In Bamiyan’s Zargaran Township, the Green Afghanistan Association (GAA), a local NGO, with support from UNDP and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, has put rubbish bins on the streets of this town.
Female Rangers, Female Role ModelsOct 27, 2015Jahanbin is not a man who is easily frightened or thwarted. As a ranger in one of Afghanistan’s two national parks, he’s been out alone in the vast empty spaces of the northern plateau and he’s faced gangs of poachers and crowds of belligerent tourists who don’t want to follow the rules. Unarmed and with the nearest police station several miles away, he’s held his own and talked his way out of trouble until help can arrive.
Band-e-Amir: Afghanistan’s Hidden WonderlandOct 27, 2015The evidence was out there weeks before anyone even knew. On July 07, 2014, a small box hidden way out on the northern plateau – an open area of inhospitable hills and valleys in the Afghanistan’s central Bamyan province – clicked into life and snapped a photo of a Persian leopard – a species of wild cat long thought to be extinct in this area.
Ushering in a ‘Green’ Bags Culture, Saying No to Plastic Glut in AfghanistanOct 27, 2015Eleven-year-old Mohamed Nasim, who is in sixth grade, wakes up at 5:30 every morning to take computer lessons in a makeshift classroom here in Borghaso village, Bamyan Province, northwest of Kabul. He draws a house in Microsoft Paint, colors it, and types his name in the corner as his young teacher watches over his shoulders.
Environmental Councils Changing Face of Development in Proviincial CommunitiesOct 27, 2015Char-i-Kar, Parwar Province: Standing at the edge of Joe-e-Projey canal in the northern town of Char-i-Kar, Mohammad Tahir, a car mechanic, rues the fate of children who drink water from the local canal. “This canal has snuffed out many, many young lives. It is a bed of dirt and disease,” he says sadly, with moist eyes.
Lighting up the Homes and Lives of ThousandsOct 27, 2015Eleven-year-old Mohamed Nasim, who is in sixth grade, wakes up at 5:30 every morning to take computer lessons in a makeshift classroom here in Borghaso village, Bamyan Province, northwest of Kabul. He draws a house in Microsoft Paint, colors it, and types his name in the corner as his young teacher watches over his shoulders.
Former Fighter Opts for Peace: How UNDP Helps Start New Lives in Safer CommunitiesOct 27, 2015“I loved my gun; it gave me dignity. But it was used for the wrong purpose, so I handed it over to be used for good,” says former Taliban fighter, 43-year-old Dawood Jan Nangyaly. Mulah Dawood, as he is also known, was a deputy commander leading some 60 insurgents against national and international forces in Zabul Province’s Nawbahar District.
Improving Accountability Through Access to InformationOct 27, 2015While doing a story on maternal health in Afghanistan, journalist Mary Nabardaeen wanted to know how many women had died in childbirth at a certain hospital. Officials refused to reveal the number, saying that doing so was prohibited by the minister of public health. It was a response that the head of the Bakhter News Agency had become familiar with in her twenty years as a journalist. It was just another example of the challenges she has faced in attempting to get information from the government.
Ministry of Interior Affairs and UNDP Sign New LOTFA AgreementOct 27, 2015Fahima*, pregnant, was forced by her husband to crawl on all fours with the family’s dogs. It was just one of the ways she was abused during her one year marriage. He also beat her with sticks, yelled obscenities at her and poured boiling water on her hands.
Police and the People Become Closer in HeratOct 27, 2015In a country like Afghanistan, emerging from decades of conflict, people deeply feel the need for a police force that is closer to the community. Traditionally, Afghan citizens have harboured suspicion and fear towards the police dating back to the years of war. But this image is now gradually changing as the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) has rolled out a model for Community Oriented Policing with technical support and funding from the Law and Order Trust Fund, which seeks to bring communities and police closer to each other.
Newly Trained Law Students to Respond to Legal Needs in Helmand ProvinceOct 27, 2015Abdullah Atal is a law student at Arakozia University in Helmand province. Though in his last year, he had yet to study key aspects of practicing law, such as how to process criminal and civil cases. That is, until he attended a training session sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme’s Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan (JHRA) project.
Leaving a Fighting Life Behind, the Ex-Fighters Enjoying Reunion with their Families and FriendsOct 27, 2015Since early 2013, close to 700 combatants have surrendered their weapons and reintegrated with their families and communities in eastern provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan as a result of concerted efforts of a number of state agencies, including the provincial offices of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan National Security Department, with technical support from UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).
UNDP supports Initiatives to Provide Legal Aid in HelmandOct 27, 2015People accused of crimes or imprisoned in Helmand province will now have access to legal representation and legal aid following the opening of the office of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in Lashkar Gar. The initiative, supported by UNDP’s Justice and Human Rights (JHRA) project, will mobilise 10 defence lawyers who are expected to provide legal support to approximately 150 people in 2014. The project is funded by Denmark.
UNDP Supports Improved Workplace Safety for Afghan PolicewomenOct 27, 2015Until mid-2014, Sergeant Mastura and her 11 female colleagues based at a police station in Kabul had to cope with the fact that most police premises simply were not designed to cater for the needs of female employees. “We did not have a separate place for ablutions so we had to use the same toilets as the policemen,” said First Sergeant Mastura, who has served with the national police force for six years.
Future Officers Buoyed by Post-elections Praise for PoliceOct 27, 2015Afghanistan’s national police force virtually disappeared as a legacy of decades of conflict. Hikmatullah Stanikzai, 26, and Safiullah Stanikzai, 25, are part of a new generation at the Afghan National Police (ANP), determined to rebuild a renewed police force capable of protecting the rights of citizens and promoting national unity among Afghans.
Code of Conduct underpins modern policing in AfghanistanOct 27, 2015Afghanistan’s national police force virtually disappeared as a legacy of decades of conflict. Hikmatullah Stanikzai, 26, and Safiullah Stanikzai, 25, are part of a new generation at the Afghan National Police (ANP), determined to rebuild a renewed police force capable of protecting the rights of citizens and promoting national unity among Afghans.
Trading Guns for Tube-Wells, Sowing Seeds of Lasting PeaceOct 27, 2015Mohammad Akbar (name changed), 47, a former combatant from a village in one of the northern provinces of Afghanistan, turned in his weapons, along with those of his ten men to the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).
Building Skills for Afghan Policewomen to Lead Change and Restore Public TrustOct 27, 2015One of the top ten priorities of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) is to promote gender equity and women as role models of change in the Afghan National Police (ANP). UNDP’s Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOFTA) is supporting the MoI in training policewomen in leadership and management skills at the Kabul Police Academy.
Afghan Police Recruit Women to Fight Crime and StigmaOct 27, 2015It was four years ago that Captain Zohra Daulatzia joined the Afghan National Police. But the mother of two girls still gets excited about that momentous day in her life when she achieved one of her life’s greatest ambitions.
Bringing the police closer to the peopleOct 27, 2015Colonel Noor Aqa Ibrahimkhail, the district Chief of Police for Farza, located 45 kilometres north of Kabul, is a veteran officer who has experienced many brushes with violence and unrest throughout his career. But compared to his previous postings, he says, Farza is a haven of peace and tranquility.
Afghan Youth Votes in Historic ElectionOct 27, 2015Despite rain and security challenges in many parts of the country, Afghans went to the polls on 5th April in Presidential and Provincial Council elections. The election marks the first time in Afghanistan’s history that power is handed from one democratically elected government to another. Young Afghans who reached the age of 18 since 2010, and those who have not registered before, were queuing to receive voter cards until 1st April. As nearly two thirds of Afghans are under the age of 25, Afghanistan's youth make up a significant proportion of voters.
Portrait of a Young Man as a Civic EducatorOct 27, 2015Mazar-e-Sharif: A class of 130 female students at the Mawlana Institute of Health Sciences in downtown Mazar, listen in rapt attention as Abdullah Ahmadi (name changed), 25, a civic educator and his team explains the finer details of the on-going voter registration process to the young students: the essential documentation that they need to bring to the registration centre to establish their legal date of birth and their identification.
Enabling Responsive Governance, Cutting Time in Service DeliveryOct 27, 2015Mazar-e-Sharif: Marzia, resident of Baba Kambar area in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, found her husband disappear after the floods. She was left to fend for herself and her three daughters. Marziya approached the Citizen Service Centre (CSC) located in the Provincial Governor’s Office, with her grievance.
Local Democracy and Development Go Hand-in-HandOct 27, 2015Mahmud-i-Raqi, Kapisa Province—Mushtari, a 42-year-old high school graduate and secretary of the District Development Assembly of Mahmudi-Raqi district, some 80 kilometres north of Kabul, is presenting to fellow Assembly members a project to build a primary school for girls.
Government Turns to Merit-Based RecruitmentOct 27, 2015Sayra Shakib Sadat was a young female school student from an illiterate family, living in an isolated village in northern Afghanistan, when fighting broke out among political leaders and the mujahidin in the early 1980s.
No More Floods! UNDP Canal Protects Qala-e-NawOct 27, 2015A canal that passes through Qala-e-Naw city and its eight adjacent villages in western Badghis province no longer leaks during flooding after it has been repaired with US $ 740,000 funding from the National Area-Based Development Programme, a joint rural development initiative of UNDP and the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.
Clean Water for 400 Households in BadghisOct 27, 2015In a remote part of western Badghis province where underground water is mostly salty, people in Dahane Abshar-e-Rigi village of Maqur district responded to their drinking water need by building rainwater reservoirs with US$ 125,000 funding from the National Area-Based Development Programme of UNDP and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.
Wells Provide Water to a Kuchi Community in Bost DistrictOct 27, 2015More than 2400 Kuchi of Registan area in Bost district have now access to water provided by 20 wells built with support from the National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) and UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).
Local Decision-making Improves Women’s Lives in AfghanistanOct 27, 2015In the village of Jukna in Badghis Province, Gulsatan recalls how in earlier days women had to walk four kilometres daily simply to collect drinking water for their families. The 45-year-old widow, a mother of six, is relieved those days are now past. ”They collected water from uncovered reservoirs which were exposed to impurities. Women were constantly at risk of bacterial and parasitic infections, and their children risked diarrhoeal disease,” she says. This is a common problem across this remote, mountainous province in western Afghanistan. Potable water is scarce, and often brackish or contaminated.
Building Peace through Community InvolvementOct 27, 2015In Afghanistan, a UNDP programme helps communities come together in peace to develop and prosper. In a remote, rugged province in eastern Afghanistan, the raging waters from the surrounding mountains have often flooded the 8000 homes that line the local river’s path.
Women Learn Small Business Skills, Look To Future with HopeOct 27, 2015Aliabad, Mazar-e-Sharif: Five days in a week, Laila, a single mom of five children including an 18-year-old daughter, walks to the Food Processing Center in Aliabad village just outside Mazar city, learning the finer aspects of basic business development.
After Her Father Falls Ill, a 14 Year Old Girl Must Pay for Family ExpensesOct 27, 2015“My father was the only person feeding our family. Before he was young and healthy and was able to sell our vegetables and fruits at the bazaar.” But this is not the case now as Farzana Hazarath, a 14 year old girl from Kang district of Nimroz province in southwest Afghanistan, explains.
Mushroom Cultivation Training In India Opens New Vistas for Afghan FarmersOct 27, 2015Kabul, Afghanistan: Sherpur, a tony neighborhood in the heart of Kabul city and a busy urban sprawl is the most unlikely place to find a vegetable farm. In one of the obscure lanes here surrounded by plush apartment blocks that are home to a gaggle of foreigners, Haji Nisar Ahmad runs a mushroom research and cultivation centre. “Mushrooms can be grown anywhere, from a car-park to an attic, why even a goat shed would do just fine”, Nisar says with a chuckle.
Social Good Summit Kabul Goes ViralSep 28, 2014UNDP Afghanistan, in partnership with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, brought together on 21 September 2014 over a hundred students, civil society activists, computer programme developers and entrepreneurs for the 2014 Social Good Summit Kabul to join a global crowd on how new media and technology can contribute to the future of our planet.
During 2013, UNDP Afghanistan remained committed to maintaining a close working relationship with Afghanistan’s government and people. It reorganised its work around the areas of inclusive and legitimate politics; sub-national governance and development; rule of law; and the cross-cutting areas of gender, capacity development, and poverty and the environment. In this context, projects were implemented and results achieved in the areas of peacebuilding, rule of law, democratic governance, poverty reduction and livelihoods, and managing resources for sustainability and resilience. For more information, please download the full report. English PDF