Known for its historical buildings and minarets, Herat is one of the largest provinces of Afghanistan. Herat locates in the west of the country and shares its border with Badghis and Turkmenistan in the north, Farah in south, Ghor in east and Iran in west. Herat has 17 districts and over 1,000 villages and its population reached 1,676,000 while its land area is 5,586,853 square kilometer.
Trade and handicrafts are people’s ancient tradition. Even in BC, Herat was a big trade center on Silk Road connecting Central Asia with China and Europe. Herat is well known for production of saffron, marble and glass made products, which are well, know worldwide. The province has 400 industrial factories and industrial parks where 20,000 Afghans and 300 foreigners are employed.
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 Herat, covering 140 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 Herat province. AREDP has established 132 EGs, 1222 SGs and 83 VSLAs in Enjil, Karokh, Rabat Sangi and Guzara districts.
Simultaneously, the program has provided technical support to 150 SMEs in Herat 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 34.8 million Afs from their own savings and have created sustainable jobs opportunities for 4,907 men and 5,505 women in the targeted areas.
Herat at a Glance:
Number of SGs established: 1,193
Number of EGs established: 160
Number of VSLAs graduated: 108
Number of SMEs supported: 148
Total Savings Amount: 41,385,501 AFs
Total Loan Amount Disbursed: 33,147,071 AFs
Female Loan Amount Disbursed: 12,090,528 AFs
Number of Borrowers: 3,650
Number of Jobs created: 11,766
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