Poverty Reduction

The Citizens’ Charter will address the ‘drivers of poverty’ through multiple strategies with the aim of institutionalizing collective action to ensure that all village resources (human and economic) are put to use.

To begin with the Citizens’ Charter engages the entire community in an analysis process that highlights the resources distribution in communities, the different social classes (better off, middle, poor and very poor), the seasonality of work and wages to highlight periods of seasonal hunger and coping mechanisms, and income and expenditures of poor households. The findings of this work are reviewed during the community development planning process so as to ensure that key issues to be addressed, including poverty, are embedded in the communities’ plans.

Second, the CCNPP has improved upon the NSP election system, by creating election units in each community through which each and every pocket (including the marginalized parts of the community) will have elected representatives (one man and one woman).

Third, the ‘integrated’ sub-committees under each CDC now include committees on Agriculture, Health, Education, Vulnerable Groups, Environment and Youth. The Health and Education committee are responsible to generate demand for services. The Agriculture and Environment Committees will activate latent economic and human resources. The former is tasked to identify un-used and under-utilized land (and how these lands could be optimized and how landless households may access farm land to cultivate crops; whilst the latter is tasked to identify all natural resources and assess the health of these resources and consider how they might be used sustainably to benefit poor families.

Fourth, Vulnerable Groups Development Sub-Committees in each village are tasked to drive a campaign that reduces seasonal hunger amongst the most vulnerable groups – very poor households, who experience prolonged food shortages annually. The Citizens’ Charter is establishing Village Grain Banks. The idea is to mobilize better off and middle households, businesses, large landlords, and those that have left (for urban areas within Afghanistan and abroad) and are doing well to provide non-perishable food items, clothes, blankets, or funds to ensure that the roughly 10 percent of ‘very poor’ households are systematically supported during the lean and off seasons to assist them to meet their basic needs. Further, in high Returnee / IDP, the Citizens’ Charter will provide matching grants of up to USD 2,000 to CDCs which have successfully established grain banks.

Finally, to support Afghanistan’s vulnerable pastoral population, the Citizens’ Charter will continue the engagement with pastoral representatives from across the nation to create the appropriate mechanism and strategies to support semi-sedentary and nomadic Kuchi. In a recent workshop, pastoral representatives from 26 Provinces agreed to hold initially monthly and then quarterly meetings and in the first instance they will map their movement corridors which will allow the program to take advantage of the inter-ministerial nature of the program and plan for mobile clinics, education and (privatized) veterinarian key services. Potential interventions include teacher training for Kuchi men and women to ensure that children who travel with their families can attend classes and training for Kuchi para-vets to provide basic livestock services. Sedentary Kuchi will be part of the community development planning and their needs will be addressed through the various committees that are to work to reduce poverty.