In response to the needs identified by community leaders in Nuristan, USAID will spend $775,000 in development projects over the next seven months creating thousands of jobs for residents of the province.
Sponsored by USAID’s Local Governance and Community Development (LGCD) program, the projects will be based in Nuristan’s Du Ab and Nurgaram districts and focus on rural development, health, irrigation and agriculture needs.
USAID experts, local implementing partners, and provincial officials are currently in the process of determining the exact location and extent of the projects, which will start late January and continue through July.
Nuristan is strategically important to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan because the province is a weapons and personnel transport route for the Afghan Armed Forces. As such, economic development projects can go a long way in helping stabilize the province and deny recruitment opportunities to insurgents.
USAID’s LGCD program, the only civilian-led effort in Du Ab and Nurgaram, has implemented a number of development projects in the area, ranging from rehabilitating canals to building suspension bridges.
In November, LGCD and its implementing partners completed a health and hygiene training for 30 Ministry of Public Health volunteer community health workers in Du Ab and Nurgaram. They, in turn, trained 3,000 community members, of which 481 were women.
“Community development is at the core of what USAID does in Afghanistan,” said USAID Mission Director William M. Frej. “It helps the people of Afghanistan at the grass-root level while helping provincial and central government ministries deliver the services needed.”