The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) was established to develop and implement programs promoting responsible social and financial growth in rural areas, primarily in the non-farm sector. It has employees in all 34 Provinces of Afghanistan, and delivers a wide range of programs funded both by the Ministry itself and the International Community.
MRRD aims to reduce poverty amongst the approximately 80% of Afghans who live in rural areas by implementing a made-in-Afghanistan “Pro-Poor” growth strategy which calls upon the government and civil society to address the macro economic constraints, the small size of the formal private sector, and the realities of rural poverty in order to implement realistic poverty reduction and development strategies. These strategies are developed within the broader context of the interim Afghan National Development Strategy (i-ANDS), the road-map the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOA) is following as it works towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development and Afghan Compact goals.
The project Livelihood Improvement in Tajik—Afghan Cross Border Areas (LITACA) is the first socio-economic development project between the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Tajikistan executed by the United Nations Development Programme-Tajikistan (UNDP-Tajikistan) in Tajik side and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)/ United Nations Development Programme -Afghanistan (UNDP-Afghanistan) of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Afghan side. The project is funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The duration of the project is from (March 2014 to February 2017) and covers three districts of Hazrat Imam Saheb in Kunduz province and Dasht-e-Qala & Yang-e-Qala districts in Takhar province in Afghan side.
The project LITACA aims to promote stability and security in the bordering provinces of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This will be achieved by reducing poverty, supporting economic development and cross-border collaboration among the communities along the Tajik-Afghan border. More than 152,976 people will directly benefit from LITACA project while the livelihoods of more than 1,123,000 people living in target bordering communities will be strengthened. The project will offer capacity development opportunities for the local governments, civil society and private sector organizations to sustainably manage local socio-economic development. As well, the project will offer investments for rehabilitating priority infrastructure initiatives and business development as a means of improving livelihoods of the target population.
About LITACA II
LITACA II a 3 years initiative to improve living standards and promote stability and security in the bordering provinces of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This will be achieved by reducing poverty, supporting economic development and cross-border economic cooperation among the communities along the Afghan-Tajik border. More than 85,000 people will directly benefit from LITACA project while the livelihoods of more than 1,200,000 people living in target bordering communities will be strengthened. The project will offer capacity development opportunities for the local government, civil society and private sector organizations to sustainably manage local socio-economic development. As well, the project offers investments for building and rehabilitating priority infrastructure initiatives and business development as a means of improving livelihoods of the target population.
LITACA-ll covers six districts in the provinces of Badakhshan (Shahr Buzorg), Takahr (Cha aab, Yangi Qala, and Dasht e Qala), Kunduz (Imam Sahib), and Balkh (Khulm) that are bordering with Republic of Tajikistan.
LITACA II promote and develops business skills to improve business environments in collaboration with agro- and non-agro-based SMEs, large employers, entrepreneurs, producer groups, and lead farmers. Labor market surveys conducted by the project established labor needs while support to developing short-, medium- and long-term business plans to help local employers identify capacity gaps will aim to increase local employment demands. Additional project support to viable businesses in the form of training, equipment and technology for value chain enhancement also improves long-term employment opportunities. The project designed and carries out several competency-based training programs in priority sectors to include literacy, basic business management, accounting, and computer skills. Special attention is paid to ensure equal access to training for women and girls.
The LITACA II project employs a participatory approach to exploring cross-border potential by consulting local communities, government entities, enterprises and consumer groups on both sides of the border. Assessments of potential products and businesses will also be conducted, with attention paid to businesses where women can directly contribute. Rural women are supported to initiate joint business and income generation activities, and enabled to share experiences of entrepreneurship with other women in target districts.
LITACA II, sustainable innovation in business and social sectors is promoted through a Small Innovation Fund to farmers, business associations, SMEs, and public organizations to enhance local employment and off-farm income generating opportunities also linked to the ‘Our Village-Our Pride’ (OVOP) model. Significantly, innovative and sustainable green technologies which enhance farming and production are promoted through demonstration centers. The demonstration centers promote community-based OVOP initiatives with the aim of reaching the cross-border and international markets, and provide training, guidance and equipment for introducing OVOP to targeted districts. An OVOP Association and Centre to support OVOP business development are established in each target provincial capital and district, providing support in packaging, branding, designing, logistics, business match making, regional / international market linkages, and online business platforms.