Regional Livelihood Program Hindukush (RLP)

The RLP is implemented in the two eastern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar along the border with Pakistan. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to build resilient and improved livelihood systems for the rural communities to cope with natural disaster- or conflict- related vulnerabilities. It refers to the nexus between poverty and conflict. Water and land use management, local economic development, access to and delivery of services and capacity building of the partners and actors are the main objectives of the project.


The Afghanistan/Pakistan border region is termed as a “global geopolitical concern” due to the socio-political fragility of the region since the Duran Line has been enforced and more recently after the 9/11 war against terror was launched in Afghanistan. Since, the border region is the scene of insurgency and counter-insurgency. Due to high level geopolitical interests over the region and the protracted war, the fragility of the border region is ever-increasing. The difficult enforcement of law and order on both sides of the border facilitates the development of criminality and a flourishing war economy, narcotics, weapon and human trafficking. The enduring conflict(s) has distorted the social fabric and the traditional mode of local governance founded on the tribal code of conduct (Pashtunwali). Tribal leaders have been gradually replaced by new power holders, often forcibly, which further detracted the local traditional mode of governance and social capital. However, economic and social exchanges remain very dynamic and show the strong interdependency of the people across border. Hence it is important to thoughtfully invest in social and economic connectors which act as catalysts for improved livelihoods and a cohesive and peaceful life for the communities.
The Afghan border region is highly volatile. Long term development engagement contributes to strengthen the social and economic ties among people and peaceful coexistence. On the Afghan side emphasis is placed on productive and protective infrastructures as well as drinking water, sanitation and hygiene promotion and electricity aiming at tangible improvements in people’s live. Reducing disaster risks and adaptation to changing climate are highly relevant in all the areas. Both the countries are located in World’s most active geological zones and where most population is dependent on climate sensitive activities.
The high potential for local economic development exists in connection to the cross-border trades and will be fostered along value chains to increase chances for income and employment, but also people to people linkages and side employments.


Purpose: Rural communities in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region have resilient and improved livelihood systems to cope with natural disaster- or conflict- related vulnerabilities.
Outcomes: Three outcomes contribute to this goal:
  • Water & land management: Village communities & CBOs manage land and water productively, sustainably and peacefully to mitigate their vulnerabilities.
  • Local economic development: Community-based Business Interest Groups (BIGs) make use of (and enhance) economic development potentials (including cross-border opportunities).
  • Access to & delivery of services: Government and non-government service providers improve the outreach & quality of services through institutional strengthening and social competence building at local level.
The purpose and outcomes are common for Afghanistan and Pakistan whereas the outputs and activities are adapted to the realities and potentials on each side of the border.


On Afghan side, five districts, Sirkanay and Khas Kunar districts in Kunar province (bordering Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies), and Goshta, Lal Pur and Mohmand Dara districts in Nangarhar province (bordering Mohmand and Khyber Agencies) have been selected as target areas.


Initial participatory Livelihoods Assessments are conducted in each district to lay the ground of the partnership with the selected Community Development Councils. The project has been planned on the premise that communities comprise power dynamics owing to individuals’ position, assets, education or ethnicity. Participatory community development plans shall enable a shared vision for the local development to to be shaped in a participatory and inclusive manner. It constitutes the basis for promoting the collective interests of local communities and exercising local governance. Development is about enabling changes and these changes shall respect the principles of Good Governance in order to lead to sustainable development. Considering the highly sensitive area, Conflict Sensitive Project Management is a must in all the endeavors.


participatory decisional processes (RLP)
PROJECT START:  October 2010

CURRENT PHASE:  2012 - 2015

Swiss Agency for Development
and Cooperation (SDC)


Orchard in the fertile Lowlands of Khas Kunar (RLP)

Well digging / Khani Baba / RLP