~~More than a quarter century of conflict compounded by repeated natural disasters has left Afghanistan as one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) for 2007-2008, the poverty rate in rural areas is 36% and 45% of rural populations do not meet minimum food requirements. With over 75% of the Afghan population living in rural areas, rural development is therefore seen as a crucial sector for the development and stability of the country.

The Community-Based Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Project (“the JFPR project”) focuses on one dimension of the poverty problem, the rehabilitation of country’s rural infrastructures. Funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) through Asian Development Bank in an amount of US$10 million, the JFPR project will be implemented over 48 months in four provinces: Baghlan, Balkh, Ghor and Samangan. Based on the key principle of the direct involvement of stakeholders and beneficiaries, it aims at rehabilitating around 120 irrigation systems as well as providing trainings with a view to an increased agricultural productivity. Approximately 250,000 households will be primary beneficiaries.

The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development has been appointed as the Executing Agency for the project. A central management unit (PMU) based at MRRD headquarters in Kabul will be actually responsible for the implementation, working closely with the provincial departments of rural rehabilitation and development (DRRDs) and the community development councils (CDCs).