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Afghanistan's National Solidarity Program

South Asia: Economic Growth and Inequality

December 19, 2006

The National Solidarity Program has touched the lives of 2 out of 3 rural people
- 20,000 communities have consultative local governance institutions
- Many rural communities have benefited from small infrastructure projects of their choosing
- 28% of the population now has access to drinking water and improved sanitation
- 25% have better roads to acess markets and services
- 18% have better irrigation systems
- 16% now have access to power
- 11% of children study in reconstructed schools
- The program employed some 4,000 Afghan nationals; skills of 600,000 local council members have been developed

Overview
The National Solidarity Program (NSP) is the largest ever effort to empower and develop the historically neglected rural areas by giving grants to locally elected bodies to build small scale infrastructure of the people’s own choosing. It’s the only government program to have reached all the country’s 34 provinces, touching the lives of 13 million villagers. It has achieved this despite working in extremely difficult terrain under uncertain security conditions, often in remote communities with high levels of illiteracy. The program is now being extended to cover a further 4000 communities across the country. Read more about the National Solidarity Program

Analysis
Afghan and World Bank officials comment on the successes and challenges facing NSP
- Nihal Fernando, World Bank Rural Development Specialist: NSP Covers 50% of the Country (audio, mp3)
- Mohammad Asif Rahimi, Deputy Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Afghanistan: Including Women in Community Development Councils (audio, mp3)
- Rahimi on Key Rural Challenge: Replacing Traditional Leadership with Elected Leaders (audio, mp3)
- Fernando on NSP Helped Keep Taliban at Bay (audio, mp3)
- Susanne Holste, World Bank Senior Transportation Specialist: Key NSP Challenges: Deteriorating Security, High Expectations, Lack of Skills (audio, mp3)

Beneficiary Voices
The National Solidarity Program gives grants directly to villages which decide for themselves what projects to tackle first. The villages of Saree Khoja and Godara used the money differently.
Hear the Saree Khoja village story (audio, mp3) | Read the Godara village story




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