The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has made significant investments in micro, small and medium infrastructure, in collaboration with donor and community partners. Infrastructure investments often complement AKDN’s health and education initiatives, through school and clinic construction and the installation of drinking water supply systems.
This cross-sector collaboration is central to AKDN’s implementation approach, with its focus on improving the quality of life for beneficiaries through multi-sector programme delivery. In addition to the contributions to social infrastructure, huge investments have been made in productive infrastructure such as irrigation canals, micro-hydro power, roads, and bridges. These investments are intended to unlock the economic potential of often seriously isolated communities and regions and improve the rural built environment in the regions in which AKF works. AKF’s infrastructure work is closely tied to its local governance activities and all interventions are identified through participatory planning processes and prioritised in the context of community, district or provincial development plans. Given the significant multiplier effects of the infrastructure work it is challenging to fully capture the outcomes, but key highlights include:
- The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, Pakistan supports to more than 3,800 infrastructure projects over the last decade that continue to benefit nearly 1.2 million people;
- Since 2003, AKF has built 5 bridges over the Amu Darya river. These bridges connect Tajikistan’s Gorno Badakhshan Oblast and Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province and provide improved humanitarian access and new opportunities for cross-border trade and economic development;
- Since 2004, with support from AKF Afghanistan, community development councils have completed 1,834 infrastructure projects, strengthening local governance capacity and the ability for local communities to drive their own development.