Afghanistan: Rural economic program to get $100 million boost

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KABUL (TCA) — Officials from the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development have said of the $403 million that was recently provided to Afghanistan by the World Bank, $100 million of which to be invested in the Women Economic Empowerment Rural Development Program, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

Rahmatullah Quraishi, head of the Women Economic Empowerment Rural Development Program, said this program will be implemented by the ministry over five years and 500,000 women will benefit from the program across the country.

“First we will create community organizations in the villages that include saving groups and unofficial organizations such as banks to help villagers to get loans. In the second phase, we will establish productive groups to develop the businesses of local investors. In the third phase, we will provide loan facilities for villagers and the loans will be paid based on Islamic banking,” said Quraishi.

Ministry officials said women’s unions will be established in 5,000 villages in 34 provinces in the first step to implement the program.

Such unions have already been established in Bamiyan, Nangarhar, Herat, Balkh and Parwan provinces.

“In our group, there were 10 women. I was watching the markets to see what is being sold the most. Then I would buy fabric from bazaars and would instruct the women how to sew clothes. Our work progressed and developed in this way,” said Fatima Rezae, a Bamiyan resident.

A Nangarhar resident, Mazr Bibi said: “I am not working for others anymore. I am busy with my cow and am very happy.”

Officials said the program aims to create jobs in villages and change villagers from just being consumers to being producers.

Sergey Kwan

TCA