Infrastructural Expansion Helps to Create Livelihoods in the North

The German Government is promoting infrastructural measures in Northern Afghanistan in order to enable the local population to access business, administrative, health care and education services and opportunities.


Nearly 30 years of armed conflict have largely wiped out people’s livelihoods in Afghanistan. Schools and bridges have been destroyed and many transport routes are impassable. However, this infrastructure is a key prerequisite for economic and social development in Northern Afghanistan and, by extension, for poverty reduction.


In order to aid Afghanistan’s economic development and combat poverty effectively, the programme aims to expand economic infrastructure in the northern provinces and make it usable. The Kunduz-Khulm Highway in particular links two extremely important trade centres. By significantly shortening the route and improving road quality, the programme aims to facilitate and potentially boost dynamic economic activity.

Measures & Results

The infrastructure projects are being implemented with the involvement of the Afghan people, with planning carried out by international experts. In the case of infrastructural expansion in Northern Afghanistan, all construction work is contracted out to local building firms wherever possible. This is because the involvement of Afghan companies boosts the local economy. For example, the contract for expansion work on the Kunduz-Khulm Highway was awarded to an international firm with Afghan roots.

Wherever possible, residents from surrounding communities are involved in the work, providing them with temporary employment and enabling them to earn an income for their families. Activities to support construction, such as the installation of smaller storage rooms in market squares, and wells, schools, health centres and access roads to more remote villages directly benefit the rural/urban population.

All of these infrastructural measures are having a positive impact on the economic development of the towns and communities and facilitating much greater access for the local people to business, administrative, health care and education services and opportunities.

At a glance

Activities in the provinces of Balkh, Kunduz
Reconstruction of economic infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan and Kunduz-Khulm National Highway
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Afghan Ministry of Public Works
Implementing organisations:
KfW Development Bank
Badakhshan, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar
Programme objective:
Contribute to economic development by expanding infrastructure.
Overall term:
Kunduz-Khulm Highway, Phase 1: October 2010 – April 2015; Kunduz-Khulm Highway, Phase 2: August 2012 – December 2016; Kunduz-Khulm Highway, Phase 3: January 2017 – October 2018