Building for political stability

Since the end of the civil war in Afghanistan, significant progress has been made in civil reconstruction in northern Afghanistan. Urgently needed basic services were created in the areas of education, access to water and medical care. However, state institutions are still barely able to provide the population with basic services and public care.

Context

In many public sectors, basic infrastructure such as schools, court buildings, parks and playgrounds is still lacking. The infrastructure problems are considerably restricting the government’s ability to act. Many people do not have the opportunity to access educational, constitutional or social services. This is jeopardising the legitimacy of the government and the political stability in the country.

Objective

The public infrastructure in northern Afghanistan is improved by the urgently needed construction of new buildings and transport routes and the rehabilitation of existing ones. The public sector is thus enabled to provide the population with basic public services. Political stability is promoted by strengthening legitimate state structures. Improvements that are felt quickly, if possible, are pursued.

Measures and Results

The Stabilisation Programme Northern Afghanistan has been promoting infrastructure construction projects in northern Afghanistan on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office since 2010. The programme is creating urgently needed technical infrastructure in selected public sectors. This is enabling good governance and administration, and is promoting the stabilisation of the country.

Improved living conditions

Twenty-four individual measures and several small-scale measures have been implemented to date. Schools have been built and repaired, and court buildings, roads, sports grounds and health centres set up. A field for the culturally significant horse riding sport buzkashi has also been created. This has improved the living conditions of the population in the remote rural areas of northern Afghanistan too. Overall, around six million people in the provinces Samangan, Balkh, Kunduz, Jawzjan, Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan have benefited from the construction measures.

Promoting women and girls

Some individual construction measures are supporting women and girls in particular. One example is the extension of the secondary school for girls in Hairatan in Balkh province. The existing school complex was expanded by a one-storey building with eight classrooms as well as a kindergarten, side rooms and an enclosure wall. Sports facilities have also been built, and a playground has been renovated. The school now offers a protected space for around 1,600 schoolgirls where they can learn. With school education, the girls have the chance to choose their own path in life.

Quality assurance

All construction projects are tendered locally and awarded to Afghan companies. In order to compensate for any technical deficits, international engineers and architects are on hand to provide support through construction management and technical quality assurance. During the construction process, the Afghan experts are trained on the building sites.

Acceptance among the population

Close coordination with local partner structures ensures that the infrastructure measures are closely geared towards actual requirements and serve the population. The construction measures are decided on in the Provincial Development Councils (PDCs) or assessed in consultation with the local government structure. This guarantees a lasting approval of the projects and ensures that they can be administered by the Afghan partners themselves in future.

At a glance

Programme:
Stabilisation Programme Northern Afghanistan
Commissioned by:
German Federal Foreign Office
Partner:
Provincial and district administrations in northern Afghanistan
Implementing organisations:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Provinces:
Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar
Programme objective:
To improve the public infrastructure in northern Afghanistan, and so stabilise the public sector
Overall term:
May 2010 – December 2019