Located in the north parts of Afghanistan, Balkh province has immense geostrategic significance and is well-known commercial hub in the country. Mazar-i- Sharif is the capital of Balkh and the province shares borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Within the country Balkh is bordering with Kunduz, Jawzjan, Sar-i-pul and Samangan provinces. The total population of Balkh estimated 1,219,200 and 66% of the total population is living in rural areas. Balkh province is also known as Silk Route crossroad and has special fame for a number of industries such as carpet weaving, food processing etc. These industries have been on halt during civil unrest and were underdeveloped.
For the last ten years Balkh province has improved economy and has been creating business and trade within the province as well as with bordering countries.
Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program initiated its interventions in 2010 and since then has been working with rural communities to enhance economic opportunities at the grassroots level. AREDP is working in four districts of Balkh, covering 97 villages.
For the last few years, AREDP has established Saving Groups (SGs), Enterprise Groups (EGs) and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to facilitate economic development from at the grass-roots level. Through its interventions, AREDP increases income and creates sustainable employment for rural men and women in Balkh province. AREDP has established 304 EGs, 780 SGs and 46 VSLAs in Balkh, Nahre Shahi, Dehdadi and Charkent districts.
Simultaneously, the program has provided technical support to 152 SMEs in Balkh province and exposed them into provincial, national and international market in order to promote local products. Moreover, community members through SGs and VSLAs have successfully mobilized 31 million Afs from their own savings and have created sustainable jobs opportunities for 3,886 men and 8,794 women in the targeted areas.
Balkh at a Glance:
Number of SGs established: 729
Number of EGs established: 288
Number of VSLAs graduated: 50
Number of SMEs supported: 158
Total Savings Amount: 36,594,405 AFs
Total Loan Amount Disbursed: 46,643,311 AFs
Female Loan Amount Disbursed: 35,753,249 AFs
Number of Borrowers: 5,331
Number of Jobs created: 15,691
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