Strengthening Governance Structures for Better Infrastructure

The living conditions in northern Afghanistan continue to be poor. The majority of the population has only limited access to basic infrastructure and public services. There is a lack of roads, bridges, clean drinking water, irrigation systems for agriculture, energy supply, flood protection, and schools, among other things.


The state structures are not effective enough to overcome these problems permanently. There is a dearth of transparent and participatory decision-making processes and expertise in provincial administrations to plan, implement and operate infrastructure projects.


The projects provide the population of northern Afghanistan with better basic infrastructure. The governance structures at district and provincial level are strengthened in order to guarantee transparent procedures in selecting, planning and implementing infrastructure projects and operating them sustainably. The quality of life of the local population is improved, and trust in state institutions enhanced. This promotes peaceful development in the country and increases state legitimacy.

Measures and Results

BMZ has been financing the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) since 2010 through the KfW Development Bank. The infrastructure projects are selected by the Provincial Development Councils. The projects are managed by the relevant authorities at provincial level, who undergo practical training during implementation. This leads to effective, legitimate and citizen-oriented state structures. The areas of action of the RIDF are as follows:

Road construction

A total of 31 km of asphalted roads and 79 km of dirt roads have been built. Another 17 km of asphalted roads are currently being built, while plans are being made for a further 11 km. Other roads are being refurbished or protected against rockfall and flooding. This will make it easier for the population to access basic services.

Construction of irrigation channels

Farmers in the provinces Badakhshan, Baghlan and Takhar have increased their yield because they are able to use an additional 22,150 hectares of land as a result of the construction and rehabilitation of 63 km of irrigation channels. Further irrigation channels have been repaired.

Flood protection

In Taloqan in Takhar province, 5 km of flood walls have been built to protect the city from flooding. Further flood walls protect farmland, irrigation channels, urban residents and urban infrastructure in northern Afghanistan.

Development of the power grid

A total of 3,850 households have been connected to the power grid in the provinces Kunduz and Baghlan, and 1,900 households in the Hazar Sumuch district in Takhar province. This has improved the quality of life and is boosting economic growth in the region. Another 4,300 households are to be connected in Samangan and Balkh.

Building schools

In Badakhshan province, eight schools have been built for 5,500 boys and girls along with two village schools. In the provinces Takhar and Samangan, five municipal school centres for 20,500 pupils are being built. Further schools are being built or are planned, and existing school buildings are being rehabilitated.

Human resources development

The project uses the infrastructure projects to train personnel in the sectoral departments of the Afghan government authorities at provincial level. The RIDF offers practical training at the workplace, coaching, seminars, remote monitoring and on-site inspections using the concept of integrated learning, or Integrated Professional Development (IPD). More than 5,500 government employees, primarily engineers, have taken part in IPD measures.

At a glance

Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF)
Implementing organisations:
KfW Development Bank
Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar
Programme objective:
To improve the living conditions in northern Afghanistan by providing basic infrastructure. Administration and citizen groups at district and provincial level are empowered to plan, implement and operate infrastructure projects themselves to meet the population’s needs
Overall term:
November 2010 – Dezember 2024