Active Grants: 0

GDP (current US$): 20.82 billion (2017)

Population: 35.53 million (2017)

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.


Hazard Risk 

Afghanistan is vulnerable to numerous 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.  

Despite 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 several 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 capacity at the central and community levels through awareness, education, and training.
GFDRR progress to date

Since 2015, GFDRR has supported initiatives that are laying the building blocks of resilience in Afghanistan, 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.

Currently, GFDRR activities are helping to develop multi-peril hazard and risk assessments; strengthen early warning systems; build institutional capacity in priority ministries; define effective landslide mitigation strategies; and develop a framework to mainstream DRM into World Bank projects in the country. To date, activities have developed a multi-peril national and local risk assessments, a Decision Support Systems, and a geohazard risk management plan, which provide key analytical inputs for national and local decision making. These outputs are building the operational and technical capacity of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Public Works, and Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development to integrate resilience into infrastructure programs

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. Activities are informing World Bank projects with over $98 million in financing and help restore and develop irrigation for increased agricultural productivity.  

The World Bank is financing a large share of development projects in the country through a multi-donor reconstruction fund. Previous GFDRR activities engagements have provided the baseline risk data, guidelines, and frameworks needed to mainstream DRM into these development projects, thus helping to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities.   

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; 
  • Building capacities of policy makers, and operational.technical government staff to integrate geo-hazard risk management into infrastructure programs;
  • 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.  

Grants Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Afghanistan Rural Access Project
$125 million | Start date: 04/2012 (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.

Kabul Municipal Development Program
$110 million | Start date: 04/2014 (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.

Naghlu Hydropower Rehabilitation Project
$83 million | Start date: 01/2016 (Ongoing)

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

Additional Financing: Irrigation Restoration and Development
- | Start date: 04/2016 (Ongoing)

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

Citizens' Charter Afghanistan Project
$100 million | Start date: 10/2016 (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.

Urban Development Support Project
$20 million | Start date: 06/2017 (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
$155 million | Start date: 06/2017 (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: 06/2017 (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.

Afghanistan Strategic Grain Reserve ( SGR Project )
$20.3 million | Start date: 06/2017 (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: 06/2017 (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.

Second Additional Financing for the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Project
$5 million | Start date: 11/2017 (Ongoing)

The AREDP’s Project Development Objectives (PDO) is to improve employment opportunities and income of rural men and women, and sustainability of targeted local enterprises. The proposed second additional financing to the Project does not require a change in the PDO as the activities to be undertaken during the extension and transition period are in line with the original PDO.

Afghanistan Digital CASA Project
$51 million | Start date: 03/2018 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Digital Central Asia South Asia Project for Afghanistan is to increase access to more affordable Internet, crowd-in private investment in the ICT sector and improve the participating governments’ capacity to deliver digital government services in Central Asia and parts of South Asia, through the development of a regionally integrated digital infrastructure and enabling environment.