Promoting Cross-Border Development and Cooperation
The common border regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan are insufficiently developed and characterised by economic uncertainty. Topographic and climatic conditions are challenging. In addition to the poorly developed infrastructure, access to the regions is made more difficult by frequent flooding and landslides. The population in the border regions is isolated, and agricultural productivity is limited. There are few alternatives for the population when it comes to earning a living. Very limited access to markets and social services and few options for bridging the gap hamper development in the border regions.
By implementing a wide range of cross-border infrastructural measures, the programme aims to stimulate social and economic development in the border regions, strengthen cooperation locally, and help to stabilise the region in the long term.
Measures & Results
As an independent institution, the PATRIP Foundation identifies ways of using resources for the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan border region as effectively and efficiently as possible. By cooperating with international and national non-governmental organisations and local and national government bodies, the foundation makes a key contribution to developing cross-border partnerships and agreements. In order to ensure the long-term effectiveness of regional construction measures, the project involves local communities in planning and implementation.
Since 2011, the PATRIP Foundation has supported more than 100 projects in the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan-Iranian border region. About 60 infrastructure projects in various priority areas have already been concluded successfully. These projects are improving quality of life for people in the region and also making a major contribution to cross-border cooperation and economic development.
For example, one project is facilitating the construction of an outdoor area at the cross-border Vanj Market on the Afghan-Tajik border. This market is already being heavily used by the local population and traders. In order to further develop the market’s capacity, additional selling space will be created in the outdoor area. The market will also be supplied with energy from a solar power system in future.
In addition, a total of five health centres were set up along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, providing the communities on both sides of the border with access to appropriate health care. The centres have been fitted out with telemedicine equipment and linked up with one another. The modern technology is being used to provide medical staff with training. Doctors are also benefitting from the option of connecting to another health centre to discuss problem cases.
The programme also supports the construction of irrigation systems on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, for example in the Afghan province of Paktia. Five open channels have been built, unlocking almost 630 ha of agricultural land. Additionally, local farmers have been trained in modern irrigation and agricultural methods to enable them to derive the greatest benefit from the new infrastructure and maximise the resulting benefits for the economy.