The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is one of nine specialist agencies and institutions of the Ago Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Foundation works in rural development in some 30 countries, especially in Asia and Africa. In Afghanistan, it works in seven provinces of northern and central Afghanistan, implementing long-term programmes aimed at reducing poverty and enabling people to improve their quality of life. AKF implements programmes in civil society, agriculture, infrastructure, small enterprise development and education.
Badakhshan was one of the first provinces in Afghanistan where the Aga Khan Foundation began long-term interventions, following an extensive programme of emergency relief in the province by Focus Humanitarian Assistance, an AKDN affiliate, which began in 1995. In 2002, the Aga Khan Foundation's rural development programme responded to food shortages by distributing quality seeds and fertilisers aimed at improving agricultural yields and productivity. Shortly after, the Foundation began working with local communities to build infrastructure projects, including water supply schemes, latrines, irrigation channels, bridges, schools, clinics and other infrastructure.