The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the award of a two-year, $55 million contract to improve the economic and social infrastructure in western Afghanistan. This program will expand USAID’s alternative development efforts and will promote productive agriculture, improve economic opportunities, and expand economic growth. The contract was awarded to ARD, a subsidiary of Tetra Tech, Inc. located in Pasadena, CA.
The resurgence of illicit opium poppy production in Afghanistan over the last two years highlights the challenge to Afghan authorities and foreign donors’ efforts to develop a stable, legal economy in parts of Afghanistan. Advancing national reconstruction will help stem illicit livelihoods and extremist political agendas.
“This new USAID activity will provide viable alternatives to poppy production. There will be jobs for agricultural laborers, better roads, and stronger businesses that will lead to greater economic growth and development,” said Mark Ward, Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia at USAID/Washington.
The goal of the program is to complete a series of infrastructure and enterprise promotion projects in a total of 200 communities, representing at least 100,000 households and 750,000 people—25 percent of the population of the four target provinces of Balkh, Jawzjan, Farah and Ghor.
Infrastructure projects will focus on expanding commercial and economic opportunities and will include irrigation planning and improvements, road rehabilitation, and renovation or construction of public buildings such as schools, clinics, community centers, and markets.
“Reconstruction is a top priority for improving the lives of the people who live in western Afghanistan,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.