Enable Afghan Communities to Meet the Long-Term Needs of Returnees

A rapidly growing segment of the Afghan population—the more than 6.8 million people who are either displaced or who have returned to Afghanistan from such countries as Pakistan and Iran—are generally left out of development planning. With a $2.5 million three-year grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Future Generations Afghanistan will train and involve returnees and refugees in development planning to improve living conditions in two districts in Nangarhar Province.

Nangarhar Province has among the highest rates of Afghan returnees from Pakistan. In the two districts of this project, Behsud and Surkhrod, nearly 50 percent of the population is either displaced or returnee. While humanitarian efforts address short-term basic needs, the long-term need is to reintegrate returnees into the social and economic fabric of communities, as well as into local governance processes.

As an implementing partner of the National Solidarity Program, Future Generations has been working in Nangarhar for four years to organize and train Community Development Councils (CDCs). With recent funds from JICA, the organization will work with 67 CDCs in two new districts, both within 10km of the capital city of Jalalabad, to enable returnees and refugees to participate in development planning processes.

CDCs will involve returnees in identifying and selecting infrastructure projects that meet local priorities and improve living conditions. Such projects may improve agricultural outputs, improve health care, or increase access to educational opportunities.

The project aims to support and strengthen linkages among community-based institutions, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to improve the quality, transparency, and sustainability of development projects identified in collaboration with returnees. 

More than 25,000 families from 11 villages in these two districts are expected to benefit directly from infrastructure projects that they help to identify and implement.

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