Our Actions in the Eastern Region
Presentation of the Region
The eastern provinces, near Pakistan, are those in which MADERA commenced its first programs in 1988, with a focus on supporting rural economies.
Starting in the high valleys of Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman (peaks over 5,000 meters), natural havens where farmers and the Afghan resistance could retreat, the activities of MADERA were extended to the lower valleys of the provinces and to the vast plain of Nangarhar, which before the war was the "breadbasket" of Afghanistan. The war and a systematic scorched-earth policy practiced by the Soviet army, left the region emptied of its population who fled en masse to Pakistan, leaving the land to waste for more than 10 years.
Beginning in 1992, refugees in Pakistan started returning to Afghanistan in fluctuating “back and forth” waves, depending on uncertain economic conditions or insecurity. Families, who were much larger after years in exile, came back to resettle on land that had often become too small to support them, forcing some families to find sources of income in other types of activities, of to migrate to the cities, or even until today, to emigrate again to Pakistan or other host countries.
It is in this context that MADERA has carried out various programs: re-cultivation of land, rehabilitation and creation of new irrigation systems to gain new arable land, multiplication programs of improved seed, support to fruit-tree nurseries and production chains, as well as activities in the field of animal health and forest preservation, in such a way that the return of refugees is sustainable, allowing for the revival of village economies and the development of the population’s standard of living.
Currently in Kunar, Laghman and Nursitan, MADERA is a facilitating partner for the National Solidarity Program (NSP), the largest development initiative in Afghanistan which is implemented by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), with support from the World Bank. The NSP aims to empower rural communities by establishing democratically elected and gender-balanced community development committees (CDCs). These committees then serve as a representative body that coordinates and manages the community’s development needs.
MADERA is also implementing, in the field of animal health, a regional network of para-veterinarians who can provide care, vaccinations, and health monitoring for livestock in this area. Given the importance of livestock in Afghanistan’s rural economy, expanding livestock production and increasing animal productivity have the potential to significantly improve rural livelihoods for Afghans, by increasing both food security and farm incomes. This four year project entitled, “Support to Animal Health and Animal Husbandry”, funded by the European Commission, is being implemented in partnership with Relief International in the East as well as other provinces (Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan, Wardak, Bamyan, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Kapisa and Nimroz).
Finally, MADERA conducts monitoring activities for WFP, in areas deemed inaccessible to UN staff for reasons of security in the Eastern provinces. The WFP has therefore delegated MADERA to monitor the implementation of their activities such as distribution of food in schools, hospitals, and refugee camps. Our teams visit the different distribution sites to ensure that beneficiaries receive the proper rations as well as to evaluate their needs. Reports are then submitted to WFP which allows them to better implement quality food distributions.