The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) have channeled roughly around $700 million of assistance to Afghanistan since the foundation begun it’s engagement in Afghanistan in 1995.
More than 2.5 million people have benefited from the assistance which mainly focuses on world development health care, education, financial services, mobile telephony and other sectors.
The Aga Khan Foundation has been working and implementing projects to deliver development assistance at village level in Afghanistan with a variery of partners, specifically the Indian government and World Bank.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Dr. Matt Reed, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation, said “India’s contribution to Afghanistan’s development through the AGDN have been substantial. We have a substantial number of Indians that have worked for us in Afghanistan, bringing their knowledge from whole variety of sectors, ranging from world development health care, education, financial services, mobile telephony and other sectors.”
He said, “The Government of India has actually contributed financially to some of the programmes that we are operating in Afghanistan, most notably in and around the restoration of cultural monuments and cultural activities. Thus, the government has supported the restoration of the office of Ministry Of Foreign Affairs which is the historic building in Kabul.”
The Aga Khan Development Network has also been actively contributing to reduce maternal mortality, child morality and literacy rates going up.
Referring to India’s sustainability of doing work over decades in Afghanistan and it will be a long lasting one, Reed said, “We have sent variety of technical support to our teams working in Afghanistan, and teams in Afghanistan including Afghanis have come and trained in India from our staff. For example, we have a support called Aga Khan World support programme.”
“They are primarily based in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and the work they do is natural resource management. Water shed management, check dams working with community organizations on how to govern water resources and another resources as well as agricultural work, things like rain water harvesting, safe water those kinds of things,” Reed added.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) started distribution of aid to Afghanistan during the civil war from Tajikistan through Aga Khan Development Network’s affiliate.
The Foundation has actively participated in a number of sectors, including agricultural productivity, natural resource management especially building community development councils, building village organization, building Afghanistan’s civil society, getting participatory governance between local Afghan people and district officials, regional officials.