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Transforming Lives

Participants of the USAID course put protective clothing on paper dolls

Ajmal* runs a shop that sells pesticides in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Until recently, he was unaware that protective clothing should be worn while spraying and that some chemicals are harmful to the environment and are banned by the government.

Sultan Mohammad used to cultivate poppy as there was no water to cultivate other crops.

Kandahar Food Zone intervention programs are designed to support alternatives to poppy cultivation. The goal is to strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods in targeted districts by identifying and addressing the root causes and sources of instability that lead to opium poppy cultivation. The two-year, $18.7 million program began in July 2013.

A worker at Maroof Metal works on a window frame using the new equipment

Until recently, Maroof* wasn’t able to grow his metalworking business because the shop, in Shibirghan in the northern Afghan province of Jawzjan, could not keep up with the competition. Its production capacity was limited and so were the tools used to make the doors, window frames, fencing and corrugated steel panels that were in demand.

Excited children mill around the Badghis Ice Production Factory the day it opened

Summer temperatures can soar to 109 F in Qala-i-Naw, capital of Afghanistan’s northwestern province of Badghis. The power supply is erratic and most households don’t have refrigerators, which can be a problem—as well as a business opportunity.

Homayon Rawoofi, senior loan officer of Shelter for Life in Takhar province, enters loans in the tracker system.

Shelter for Life is a microfinance institution in Kabul that provides loans to businesses. But it found it hard to track loans. Its loan officers in different cities did not have a centralized database to consult. They did not have access to accurate and timely information and could not take note of delinquency or manage defaults.

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Last updated: July 29, 2015

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