Eschborn, 10 September 2003 - The Deutsche Gesellschaft f=FCr Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) has been commissioned by the World Bank to conduct nationwide operations in Afghanistan. The aim of these activities is to strengthen village structures, improve training and education, promote agriculture and rehabilitate infrastructure.
The Afghan governments National Solidarity Programme is geared to around 7,500 Afghan communities distributed throughout all 32 provinces in the country. As part of this programme, local and international non-governmental organisations will advise local authorities on the planning and implementation of small-scale projects.
For the first year of operations, the World Bank has made available subsidies of more than US $150million. The GTZ is to steer the overall programme but will work closely on this with the Afghan Ministry for Reconstruction and Rural Development. Team leader, Christoph B=FCrk, stated that: Our team consists of nine foreign and approximately 120 national experts. Our job is to identify projects, review applications for support and manage funds.
The GTZ is to execute the commission together with DAI (Development Alternative Incorporation), an American consultancy firm. If work is successful, support for the National Solidarity Programme could be extended by a period of two years.
The GTZ is a government-owned enterprise for international cooperation with worldwide operations. The GTZs aim is to positively shape the process of political, economic, ecological and social development in our partner countries, thereby improving peoples living conditions and prospects. The GTZ resumed operations in Afghanistan at the beginning of 2002, where it has mainly been executing commissions on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The GTZ is assisting the process of economic rehabilitation, supporting vocational training and promoting employment by providing training for women. It is also training personnel in the justice system, police force and administration, advising on water-sector reforms, improving the energy supply and delivering development-oriented emergency aid.
For more information on GTZ's work in Afghanistan, visit the GTZ homepage at: http://www.gtz.de/afghanistan