KABUL, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 100,000 people were provided with employment over the last four years and development programs will widen to cover 34 provinces in Afghanistan over the next 10 years.
"All 34 provinces and 124 out of some 400 districts of the country are covered by the Citizens' Charter Program (CCP), which is the most important development program of the government of Afghanistan for the next 10 years," Mujiburrahman Karimi, the Afghan minister of rural rehabilitation and development, said at a media gathering recently.
The ministry has set up 8,024 development councils, organized development plans for 4,784 villages and approved nearly 5,329 development projects, out of which 2,628 projects are currently running.
Up to 960 women directly and 6,720 others indirectly have been provided with work through the Livelihood Improvement in Tajik-Afghan Cross Border Areas (LITACA) project, which ran from 2014 to 2017.
In addition, up to 500,000 people, 80 percent of whom are women and mainly Afghan returnees who possess handicraft skills, will be provided with jobs by a new development program started in 2017 in 34 provinces of the country.
According to the minister, road building projects, water supply programs, rural industries' development, Citizens Charter and LITACA projects constitute five important programs of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.
The projects come amid 50 percent of Afghanistan's population living below the poverty line, according to a survey conducted a few years ago. The Asian Development Bank predicted in a report that economic growth in Afghanistan had not progressed well, most possibly due to growing insecurities in various parts of the country.
Since the survey was launched two years ago, however, the percentage of Afghans living below the poverty line is now likely to be higher.
In terms of quantifiable progress, which according to the ministry has been made in various fields, including water supply, irrigation and road building projects, the fact that more than half of the population is still living below the poverty line should entail the government's heed and efforts to better the statistics.