Afghanistan

Active Projects: 2

GDP (current US$): 19.46 billion (2016)

Population: 34.65 million (2016)

Major Partners

World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

INFORM Risk Rating: 7.7

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.

Context

Hazard Risk 

Afghanistan is vulnerable to a number of natural hazards, including earthquakes, flooding, drought, landslides, and avalanches. In 2015, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan, claiming 177 lives and injuring hundreds. That same year flooding and avalanches, caused by heavy rains and snowfall, affected over 8,000 families and claimed nearly 300 lives.  

In spite of recurring hazard events, the country lacks adequate mechanisms for response, recovery and building resilience, putting lives and livelihoods at risk. Furthermore, managing crisis situations is particularly challenging in Afghanistan given ongoing instability and insecurity, as well as limited access to remote settlements and poor transport connectivity.  

National Priorities  

The Government of Afghanistan has taken steps to advance disaster risk management (DRM) in the country. The government has developed institutional frameworks for DRM, including a Strategic Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (2011), and a number of DRM laws and provincial DRM plans. However, these frameworks have not been properly implemented due to insufficient budgeting, a lack of human resources, and insecurity within the country.  

To further advance the DRM agenda, government priorities include: 

  • Improving the understanding and incorporation of natural hazard and climate risk in development planning;  
  • Developing a national DRM strategy and integrating risk awareness in public policies and investments;   
  • Developing early warning systems for all major hazards while improving outreach to communities; and, 
  • Building DRM capacities at the central level as well as at the community level through awareness, education, and training.
GFDRR progress to date

Since 2015, GFDRR has supported initiatives which are laying the building blocks of resilience in Afghanistan.  The World Bank is financing a large share of development projects in the country through a reconstruction fund. GFDRR’s initial engagements are providing the baseline risk data, guidelines, and frameworks necessary to mainstream DRM into these development projects, thus helping to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities.   

GFDRR is providing technical assistance to help strengthen the Government of Afghanistan’s basic disaster prevention capacity to effectively plan for, and respond to, natural hazard events. GFDRR and the World Bank are providing assistance and training to: (i) develop multi-peril hazard and risk assessments; (ii) strengthen early warning systems; (iii) build institutional capacity building in priority ministries; and (iv) develop a framework to mainstream DRM into World Bank projects. To date, multi-peril national and local risk assessments have been developed, providing key analytical inputs for national and local decision making.  

In addition, GFDRR is supporting an initiative to help integrate DRM into the agriculture and irrigation sector. In collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Ministry of Agriculture, assessments, framework, and procedures are being developed to support the resilience of irrigation facilities and address river bank erosion. These outputs will inform World Bank projects with over $98 million in financing and help restore and develop irrigation for increased agricultural productivity.  

GFDRR anticipates continued demand from the Government of Afghanistan for support in the following areas: 

  • Strengthening natural hazard and climate risk data management and sharing; 
  • Implementing a community-led DRM strategy, including community-based risk assessments and early warning systems; and, 
  • Building urban resilience to seismic risk through strengthening risk information and the identification and prioritization of critical investments for infrastructure retrofitting.  

Projects Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Project Description
Strengthening Early Warning Systems and Disaster Risk Management Capacity in Afghanistan
$2,621,000 04/2015 - 12/2017

This project aims to strengthen the Government of Afghanistan's basic disaster prevention capacity to effectively plan for, and respond to, natural disasters. In particular, the project will provide technical assistance and training in the areas of risk assessment, early warning systems, and institutional capacity in priority ministries. Activities under this project will include: (i) developing a multi-hazard risk assessments, including probabilistic modelling of riverine flood and seismic risk, with susceptibility analysis of landslide and avalanche risks; (ii) strengthening early warning systems by addressing gaps in the generation of disaster risk information and the dissemination of early warning information to affected communities in a timely manner; (iii) conducting an institutional mapping and capacity assessment on the roles, responsibilities and mandates on DRM of each institution; and (iv) developing a framework to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities in World Bank projects in Afghanistan.

Mainstreaming Natural Hazard and Climate Risk Information and Community Driven Development in Afghanistan
$1,300,000 10/2016 - 08/2019

This project seeks to integrate natural hazard and climate change risk information into planning and decision making for select sectors in Afghanistan, and promote risk informed community-driven development (CDD). To achieve this objective, the project will support: (i) knowledge management and dissemination of hazard risk profiles; (ii) development of an exposure model for Kabul City to increase urban resilience; and (iii) development and piloting resilient infrastructure designs for inclusive and community resilience. Hazard profiles will be used to strengthen risk data management and sharing, build risk awareness among government counterparts, and development to promote DRM efforts in the country’s development planning. Building upon hazard profiles, assessments in Kabul City will deploy risk data to strengthen urban planning and establish a foundation for longer-term investments to reduce risk in the built environment. In parallel, activities will aim to increase the risk awareness of communities and support conducting participatory disaster risk mapping to inform the design and implementation of potential community projects. This activity will support the development and delivery of training modules for provincial level and/or community level master trainers on key aspects of disaster and climate risk management.

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Additional Financing: Irrigation Restoration and Development - | Start date: 2016-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve access to irrigation in targeted areas and strengthen capacity for water resources management.

Naghlu Hydropower Rehabilitation Project $83 million | Start date: 2016-1 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve dam safety and to increase the supply of electricity at the Naghlu Hydropower Plant.

Irrigation Restoration and Development Additional Financing $70 million | Start date: 2016-1 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve access to irrigation in targeted areas and strengthen capacity for water resources management.

Kabul Municipal Development Program $110 million | Start date: 2014-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to: (i) Increase access to basic municipal services in selected residential areas of Kabul city; (ii) Redesign KM’s Financial Management system to support better service delivery; and (iii) Enable early response in the event of an eligible emergency.

Afghanistan Rural Access Project $125 million | Start date: 2012-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to enable rural communities to benefit from all-season road access to basic services and facilities. The project is being processed under the rapid response to crises and emergencies. The project will focus mainly on the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing access roads along their current alignments with a minimum standard, thereby posing low to medium environmental and social impact. The grant will help finance the improvement and maintenance of secondary and tertiary rural roads, construction of bridges, implementation support, and capacity building activities.

Urban Development Support Project $20 million | Start date: 2017-6 (Ongoing )

The Project Development Objectives are to create an enabling policy framework and enhance urban policy making capacity in relevant agencies at the national level; and to strengthen city planning, management and service delivery capacity in five Provincial Capital Cities.

Additional financing for Afghanistan Rural Access Project $105 million | Start date: 2017-6 (Ongoing )

The objective of the Rural Access Project for Afghanistan is to enable rural communities to benefit from all-season road access to basic services and facilities.

Inclusive Growth Development Policy Grant $100 million | Start date: 2017-6 (Ongoing)

The development objectives of this project are to enhance the policy framework to expand access to economic opportunities for the vulnerable; and to strengthen the policy and regulatory framework for private sector development.

Citizens' Charter Afghanistan Project $100 million | Start date: 2016-10 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective for the Citizens€™ Charter Afghanistan Project is to improve the delivery of core infrastructure, emergency support, and social services to participating communities through strengthened Community Development Councils.

Afghanistan Strategic Grain Reserve ( SGR Project ) $20.3 million | Start date: 2017-6 (Ongoing)

The development objective of the project is to establish a wheat strategic reserve to be available to Afghanistan households to meet their needs following emergency situations and improve the efficiency of the grain storage management.

Citizens' Charter Afghanistan Project - Emergency Regional Displacement Response Additional Financing $127.7 million | Start date: 2017-6 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Additional Financing for the Citizens Charter Afghanistan Project is to improve the delivery of core infrastructure, emergency support, and social services to participating communities through strengthened Community Development Councils.