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Building the resilience of communities for secure and sustainable livelihoods

ACTED in Afghanistan adopts a holistic approach by facilitating access to and the secure ownership of diverse resources and income-generation activities; in particular, the assets and reserves that enable communities to offset risks, recover from shocks, and meet contingencies. In 2014, ACTED continued to develop key resources required for communities to meet their needs and build resilience (including education, infrastructure, sustainable agriculture, emergency shelter and food) for over 8% of the population, alongside supporting seasonal and disaster preparedness. Rising insecurity presented considerable challenges, but ACTED continued to engage in positive development, coordination and partnership with over 2,600 communities.

Building community resilience and sustainable livelihoods

ACTED’s programmes in Afghanistan focus on six different areas of sustainable livelihood security: human, natural, financial, physical, political and social capital. Through participatory and community-led processes, beneficiaries determine their own needs, to which programmes are then tailored accordingly. Central to ACTED’s work in-country is the development of human capital through training, capacity-building, skills development, and education. ACTED also focuses on improving the management of existing natural resources and reducing livestock mortality, resulting in positive impacts on both incomes and yields. Disaster risk reduction and the empowerment of youth and women are cross-cutting issues that are integrated across all programme components.

Coordination, partnership and economic development

Throughout 2014, ACTED continued to promote good governance and to support grass-root economic development through its work with Community Development Councils, District Development Assemblies, and local partner NGOs for the construction of community infrastructure, the representation and participation of youth and women, as well as the development of sustainable livelihood activities. Results include improved governance, strengthened resource management, increased employment, and rising literacy levels.

ACTED also plays a key role in coordinating and informing humanitarian and development work within the country through its involvement in ACBAR (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development), which represents 135 humanitarian and development NGOs.

Empowering communities and integrating marginalised groups

While supporting communities with over 1,000 infrastructure projects, ACTED also contributed to social capital, providing support for additional activities (including sport, culture and social events, interactive media and networking), promoting cohesion, participation, and increasing demand in contexts often divided through culture and conflict. A particular focus throughout 2014 was providing services and income-generation activities for vulnerable and marginalized communities, including those facing gender-based violence and drug addiction, with emphasis placed on improving women’s literacy and providing access to education for girls. Multiple self-help groups were also formed to enable women to establish businesses and earn sustainable incomes.

Providing ongoing support throughout the transitional process

In 2015, ACTED continued to expand sustainable development programmes in alignment with national priorities, supporting the government (from local to national levels) to strengthen their accountability, transparency and leadership, while also supporting the capacity, sustainability and emergence of strong organisations throughout civil society. Through long-standing relationships with communities across the North of Afghanistan, ACTED continued to be positioned to respond to the emerging human, social, financial and physical needs of the population, including resilience related to climate change and natural disasters, as the security and political climate continues to transition.

Partners in 2014:

Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), DFID, EuropeAid, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Afghanistan, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE), US Embassy, World Food Programme (WFP)

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