1. PROVINCIAL PROFILE 1.1. General Information

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Source: UNDSS Provincial Assessment provided by UNAMA
1.1. General Information
A. Geography
Balkh province is situated in the northern part of Afghanistan, bordering Uzbekistan in the North,
Tajikistan in the North-East, Kunduz province in the East, Samangan province in the South-East, Sar-ePul province in the South-West and Jauzjan province in the West. The capital city of the province is
Mazar-e-Sharif, one of the biggest commercial and financial centres of Afghanistan. The province
covers an area of 16,840 km2. Nearly half of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain
(48.7%) while half of the area (50.2%) is made up of flat land, as the following table shows:
Topography type
Flat Mountainous Semi Mountainous Semi Flat Not Reported TOTAL
50.2% 42.0% 6.7% .9% .3% 100.0%
Source: CSO/UNFPA Socio Economic and Demographic Profile
The province is divided into 15 districts. The provincial capital is Mazar-e-Sharif which has a
population of about 375,181 inhabitants.
B. Demography and Population
Balkh has a total population of 1,123,948. There are 119,378 households in the province and
households on average have 7 members. The following table shows the population by district:
Population by Districts
District Number of males Number of females Total population
Mazar-i-Sharif 190,626 184,555 375,181
Dehdadi 33,860 32,149 66,009
Nahr Shahi 19,805 18,986 38,791
Marmal 4,804 4,706 9,510
Khalam 25,093 24,114 49,207
Koldar 9,141 8,791 17,932
Shortipe 15,551 14,763 30,314
Dolat Abad 40,529 39,109 79,638
Balkh 48,868 48,187 97,055
Chrpolak 35,304 34,671 69,975
Chamtal 41,107 40,204 81,311
Sholgare 43,576 41,693 85,269
Charkont 16,615 15,691 32,306
Kashande 25,020 24,063 49,083
Zari 21,426 20,941 42,367
Total 571,325 552,623 1,123,948
Source: CSO/UNFPA Socio Economic and Demographic Profile
Around 66% of the population of Balkh lives in rural districts while 34% lives in urban areas. Around
51 % of the population is male and 49% is female. The major ethnic groups living in Balkh province are
Tajiks and Pashtoons followed by Uzbek, Hazaras, Turkman, Arab and Baluch. Dari is spoken by about
50% of the population and 58% of the villages. The second most frequent language is Pashtu, spoken
by the majorities in 266 villages representing 27% of the population, followed by Turkmani (11.9%)
and Uzbeki (10.7%).
Balkh province also has a population of Kuchis or nomads whose numbers vary in different seasons. In
winter 52,929 individuals, or 2.2% of the overall Kuchi population, stay in Balkh living in 80
communities. Half of these are short-range partially migratory, another third are long-range partially
migratory, and 18% are settled. Overall, for long and short range migratory categories, less than half of
the community migrates. In the winter both groups stay mostly in one area and don’t move around
during the season. In the summer season, some 120 long range migratory Kuchi households come from
Saripul province to Balkh province. The Kuchi population in the summer is 59,776 individuals.
C. Institutional framework
In total the government employs 18,376 people in Balkh province. As the table below shows, 69% of
these are employees and 31% are contract workers. 82% of government workers are men and 18% are
Number of people employed by government
Male Female Total
Contract workers 5,302 403 5,705
Employees 9,786 2,885 12,671
Total Workers 15,088 3,288 18,376
Source: CSO Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2006
In addition, each province has a Provincial Development Committee (PDC) which is responsible for
overseeing the progress made on implementation of the Provincial Development Plan, and which will
lead the provincial development planning process in the future. The PDC involves all government line
departments and other key stakeholder groups involved in development activities in the province. It also
has a number of working groups devoted to different sectors, each of which should be chaired by the
director of the core responsible line department. The structure of the PDC and its associated working
groups approved by the Ministry of Economy for use in all provinces is shown in the diagram below:
Provincial Development Committee Structure endorsed by Ministry of Economy
The Provincial Development Committee in Balkh province was formed in January 2006. In April 2007
UNAMA made the following assessment of the PDC in Balkh:
UNAMA assessment of Provincial Development Committee in Balkh
Supporting Agencies Functioning Status of PDC meetings
UNAMA provides some support to PDC. Meeting doesn’t take place regularly and
participation of UN agencies is weak. Line
departments attend meetings.
Source: UNAMA, April 2007
Balkh also has a number of other bodies which play an active role in development planning at the local
level. There are District Development Assemblies active in 14 districts in the province, involving 293
men and 388 women members. Each DDA has its own District Development Plan. There are also 676
Community Development Councils in the province which are active in development planning at the
community and village level. The following table shows the number of CDCs active in each district:
Number of CDCs by District
National Army
Border Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Council (PC)
UN agencies
Public works (DPW)
Urban. Development
Rural Rehabilitation
and Development
Mines& industries
Water& Power
Provincial Council
Private sector
UN agencies
NGOs (N &Int)
Council (PC)
UN agencies
NGOs (N &Int)
Public Health
Red Crescent
Water Supply
Private sector
Council (PC)
UN agencies
NGOs (N& Int)
Education (DoE)
Women’s Affairs
Labour and
Social Affairs,
Martyrs and
Youth and
Border Affairs
Tribal and Kuchi
Council (PC)
UN agencies
NGOs (N &Int)
Department of
Civil Service
Human Rights
Audit & Control
Anti corruption
Council (PC)
UN agencies
NGOs( N &Int)
Labour and
Social Affairs
Women’s Affairs
and Development
Refugees and
Border Affairs
Tribal and Kuchi
Red Crescent
Council (PC)
UN agencies
NGOs (N & Int)
Dep of Finance
Chamber of
Youth and
UN Agencies
Private sectors
Council (PC)
& Private
& Rural
Health &
& Natural
Rule of Law
& Human
PDC Central office
Ministry of Economy SecretariatDepartment of Economy
Governor/D. Gov
Source: Ministry of Economy
Source: MRRD, National Solidarity Programme (NSP)
D. Donor Activity
In addition to the activities of government agencies, a number of national and international
organizations play an active role in promoting development in the province. For example, 15 UN
agencies are currently involved in reconstruction and development projects in different parts of the
province. These are shown in the following table:
Source: UNAMA
There are also at least 45 national and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) supporting
development projects across a range of sectors in the province, as the following table shows:
District Number of CDCs
Nahri Shahi 35
Zari 58
Shortepa 25
Dawlat Abad 62
Chahar Bolak 83
Chimtal 81
Sholgara 60
Chahar Kint 59
Dihdadi 36
Kaldar 21
Khulm 73
Kishindih 83
Total 676
UN Operations in Balkh
Agency Project Location
UNAMA RRR, human rights and political assistance
Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Samangan
WFP Food For Work, food relief Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, and Samangan
UNHCR Returnees, shelter Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Samangan
UNICEF Education, child protection, health malnutrition, water and sanitation All northern provinces
UNODC Drug and crime Counter-narcotics in all northern provinces; crime only in Balkh province
UNDP UDG Urban development projects Balkh province
ANBP DIAG and disarmament All northern provinces
UN-Habitat NSP All northern provinces
FAO Agriculture All northern provinces
UNOPS Rehabilitations All Northern Provinces
Rehabilitation of school and clinics,
returnees and reintegration of excombatant.
Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pul and Samangan
WHO Health All northern provinces
UNDSS Safety and security All northern provinces
International and National NGO Operations
Organization Project Location
ATC De-mining Hayratan
SC/UK Child protection, quality primary education projects Mazar City, Nahri Shahi
WOCCU Farmers, vendors, women, professional businessmen
Mazar City, Dehdadi, Khulm, Charbolak,
Charkent, Sholgara, Balkh, Chemtal, Nahri
Shahi, Dawlatabad
WWI Educational courses Mazar-e-Sharif
DCA Animal health Khulm, Alburz, Chimtal , Kishindeh, etc.
PRB Agriculture, education
Balkh 280 farmers, Chemtal 280 farmers,
Nahri Shahi 240 farmers, Charkent 240
farmers,Zari 280 farmers
MCPA De-mining Naher-e-Shahi, Mazar
PWJ Construction/engineering/IGA Project/agriculture Dehdadi
Building two intakes, seed
project, greening campaign and
cleaning, community
Balkh, Bangala village, Marmul, Mazar
KAA Culture & education, road construction Mazar, Charbolak
Water supply, environmental
sanitation, agriculture, women,
water health
Dawlat Abad, Khulm
DHSA Education All districts
HAFO Agriculture & irrigation All districts
Education, vocational training,
job opportunity, vulnerable
women, women’s handicraft,
Mazar City
CoAR Agriculture Naher-e-Shahi, Mazar, Khulam, Keshindi, Marmul, Sholgara
ARRAF Computer & English language training programs Mazar-e-Sharif
IACD Health Mazar, Balkh, Dehadi, Sholgara
Action Aid Women right / mobile health services Chimtal, Charbolak, Balkh, Dawlatabad
GAA School Dawlatabad, country side of Mazar
JDA Agriculture, health and sanitation
Dihdadi, Sherabad, Baba Yadgar, Kungrad
Hisarak, Mazar and Ali Abad village
LEPCO Health All of Mazar City and northern Afghanistan
HNI Health / malaria & lashmania All Districts
IAM Health Mazar-e-Sharif
PAD Course conduct
CHA Education Mazar-e-Sharif, Chimtal, Dawlatabad, Charbolak, Kishindih
BRAC Education and health Dehadi, Mazar, Khulam, Balkh, Char Kent, Kishindih, Shortepa,
GP School adoption program and water well project Mazar City, Dawlatabad, Hairatan
SHA Construction Mazar City
SCA Disability Mazar City, Khulam, Dehadi, Balkh, Dawlatabad, Charbolak.
ACTED Construction, rehabilitation, water supply, NSP training Balkh, Alburz, Nahre Shahi, Mazar
Construction, teacher training,
computer training and
community development
Dawlat Abad, Shortepa, Mazar
Source: UNAMA
In addition the following Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operate as facilitating partners (FPs)
for the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) in different districts in the province, as shown below:
NGOs Facilitating NSP by District
District Facilitating Partner
Dawlatabad CHA
Chahar Bolak CHA
Chahar Kint CARE
Chimtal CHA
Dihdadi UN Habitat
Kaldar PIN
Khulm CARE
Kishindih CHA
Marmul CARE
Nahri Shahi UN Habitat
Sholgara CARE
Shortepa PIN
Zari PIN
Marmul CARE
Source: MRRD, National Solidarity Programme (NSP)
1.2. Current State of Development in the Province
A. Infrastructure and Natural Resources
The provision of basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation, energy, transport and
communications is one of the key elements necessary to provide the building blocks for private sector
expansion, equitable economic growth, increased employment and accelerated agricultural productivity.
NRC Legal rights All Districts
Aschiana Vocational training and basic education Mazar-e-Sharif, Nahiye-4
AREA Road Construction Balkh (Dewali)
HHI Shelter Naher-e-Shahi, Mazar
Samaritan purse Green house, kindergarten, women’s center and education Khulm
BDF Legal All districts
IBNSINA Health Mazar-e-Sharif
DACAAR Water Supply Charbolak, Dawlatabad, Balkh, Dehdadi, Nahre-Shahi and Mazar
HALOTRUST De-mining/BAC Dehdadi, Hairatan and Nahre Shahi
Women’s political
participation, community,
literacy classes, peace
education workshop, wool
spinning, vocational training,
cuddy making and women in
Mazar-e-Sharif, Nahiye-4 and Nahre Shahi
PIN Education Dawlatabad, Mazar, Ayback
ESC Employment service Mazar-e-Sharif
ADWRB Legal assistance for women and civic society support Mazar City and all related districts
CESVI Refugee Women’s Training Under selection
In Balkh province, on average only 31% of households use safe drinking water. This rises to 67% in the
urban area, and falls to 12% in rural areas. Four of five households (80%) have direct access to their
main source of drinking water within their community, however almost one in five households (18%)
has to travel for up to an hour to access drinking water, and for 1% travel to access drinking water can
take up to 6 hours as the table below shows:
Source: NRVA 2005
On average only 12% of households have access to safe toilet facilities. The situation is better in the
urban area where 15% of households have safe toilets, but this is true for only 10% of rural households.
The following table shows the kinds of toilet facilities used by households in the province:
Source: NRVA 2005
In terms of meeting the basic requirements for energy, on average 49% of households in Balkh province
have access to electricity with the great majority of these (41%) relying on public electricity. Access to
electricity is much greater in the urban area where 95% of households have access to electricity,
however, this figure falls to just 26% in rural areas, and a little more than half of these (14%) have
access to public electricity.
The transport infrastructure in Balkh is reasonably well developed, with 38% of roads in the province
able to take car traffic in all seasons, and 34% able to take car traffic in some seasons. However, in
more than a quarter (27.5%) of the province there are no roads at all, as shown in the following table:
Road Types
District Cars all season Cars some seasons No roads Not reported
Dehdadi 94.8% 1.7% 3.4% .0%
Nahr Shahi 86.4% 13.6% .0% .0%
Marmal 42.9% 57.1% .0% .0%
Khalam 44.1% 47.1% 5.9% 2.9%
Koldar 7.7% 69.2% 23.1% .0%
Shortipe 15.0% 85.0% .0% .0%
Dolat Abad 60.0% 37.6% 2.4% .0%
Balkh 49.1% 50.9% .0% .0%
Chrpolak 82.6% 16.5% .9% .0%
Chamtal 27.1% 60.8% 12.0% .0%
Sholgare 42.7% 34.5% 21.8% .9%
Charkont 13.9% 59.5% 26.6% .0%
Time required accessing main source of drinking water
In community Less than 1 hour 1-3 hours 3-6 hours
80% 18% 1% 1%
Toilet facilities used by households
None/ bush
open field/
Dearan / Sahrah
(area in compound
but not pit)
Flush latrine
1% 1% 2% 84% 11% 1%
Kashande 9.0% 10.2% 80.7% .0%
Zari 13.2% 17.8% 68.4% .7%
Total 38.0% 34.2% 27.5% 0.3%
Source: CSO (analysis by AIRD)
The following table indicates road travel times between the provincial capital, Mazar-e-Sharif, and the
major district centers in the province, and other key provincial centers in the region:
Source: UNAMA
In the area of telecommunications, Hairatan, Chimtal, Balkh, Dehdadi, Khulam, Charbolak, Nahre
Shahi, and Dawlatabad districts of Balkh province has mobile phone coverage.
B. Economic Governance and Private Sector Development
Creating the conditions in which a dynamic and competitive private sector can flourish, is key to
promoting economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction. Balkh is both an agricultural
and an industrial province. In terms of industry, one fertilizer factory is working in the province. The
majority of commercial activity in Balkh is related to agriculture and small businesses.
Agriculture is the major source of revenue for 42% of households in Balkh province, including 61% of
rural households and 7% of households in the urban area.Seventy percent of rural households and 6% of
urban households own or manage agricultural land or garden plots in the province. However, more than
half of households (58%) in the urban areas and more than one-fifth of households (21%) in rural areas
derive income from trade and services. More than a third of households (35%) in urban and at least a
quarter (25%) in rural areas earn some income through non-farm related labour. Livestock also
accounts for income for 29% of rural households as the following table shows:
Sources of income reported by households
Source of income Rural (%) Urban (%) Total (%)
Agriculture 61 7 42
Livestock 29 3 20
Opium 12 2 9
Trade and Services 21 58 34
Manufacture 11 14 12
Non-Farm Labor 25 35 28
Remittances 2 1 1
Road Travel Times
From To Time Road Condition
Mazar-e-Sharif Kabul 6-7 hrs Asphalt
Mazar-e-Sharif Dehdadi 18 minutes Asphalt
Mazar-e-Sharif Balkh 25 Minutes Asphalt
Mazar-e-Sharif Chaharbolak 40 Minutes Asphalt
Mazar-e-Sharif Chimtal 90 minutes Asphalt, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Sholgara 2 hours Asphalted, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Kishindeh 3 hours Asphalt, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Zari 3. 5 hours Asphalt, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Charkent 3 hours Graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Marmul 2 hours Graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Nahri Shahi 10 minutes Asphalt
Mazar-e-Sharif Dawlatabad 1.30 hours Asphalt, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Shortapa 3 hours Asphalted, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Karldar 3 hours Asphalt, partially graveled
Mazar-e-Sharif Khulam 1 hour Asphalt
Other 2 3 2
Source: NRVA 2005
In 2005 there were 21 agricultural cooperatives active in Balkh involving 1,617 members. This was
almost three times more people than in 2003 when the figure was only 601 members. In 2005
agricultural cooperatives controlled a total of 11,714 Hac of land and achieved a surplus of products for
sale of 90,000 tons. As a result of this, each member held a share in the capital of the cooperative to the
value of 703,100Afs.
Balkh produces industrial crops such as cotton, sesame, tobacco, olives, and sharsham in a relatively
substantial number of villages. Of the 1.140 villages, 434 or 38% produce sesame, 422 villages produce
cotton, 148 produce tobacco, and 123 produce sugar extracts. Together, these four products account for
almost nine out ten commodities produced in the province.agricultural or animal products, there is not a
very large production of industrial products in Balkh. Balkh and Sholgara districts are major producers
of each, Chimtal also a major producer of cotton and sesame: Kishindeh is a major producer of sesame;
and Dehdadi is a major producer of cotton.
The sector of small industries is dominated by one commodity-karakul skin. The districts of Dawlat
Abad, Balkh, Chimtal, and Sholgara together house close to three quarters of the villages engaged in
this particular industry. In the area of handicrafts, rugs are the most prominent, engaging more than 408
villages of the 1,140 (36%). Carpets, jewelry, and shawls are also produced, albeit in substantially less
number of villages: rugs concentrated particularly in Chahar Kint, Sholgara, and Dawlat Abad; carpets
in Dawlat Abad, Dehdadi, Balkh, and Chahar Bolak; jewelry in Dehdadi, in particular, and Chahar Kint;
and shawls in Dawlat Abad, Chimtal, Chahar Kint, and Sholgara.
In 2005, 25% of households in Balkh reported taking out loans. Of these loans, a small percentage were
used to invest in economic activity such as business investment (9%), agricultural inputs (8%) and
buying land (1%).
C. Agriculture and Rural Development
Enhancing licit agricultural productivity, creating incentives for non-farm investment, developing rural
infrastructure, and supporting access to skills development and financial services will allow individuals,
households and communities to participate licitly and productively in the economy. As agriculture
represents the major source of income for more than two-fifth of the households in the province, rural
development will be a key element of progress in Balkh. The most important field crops grown in Balkh
province include wheat, barley, maize, flax and melon/water melon. The most common crops grown in
garden plots include fruit and nut trees (67%), grapes (13%) and vegetables (4%). Melon/water melons
(6%) and cotton (2%) are also frequently gown in garden plots in the province.
Six out of seven households with access to fertilizer use this on field crops (84%) and to a much lesser
degree on garden plots (8%), although nearly one of ten households use fertilizer on both field and
garden (8%). The main types of fertilizer used by households in the province are shown in the following
Main Types Of Fertilizer Used By Households
Human Animal Urea DAP
% % % Average Kg per Household %
Average Kg per
21 35 56 448.1 Kg 50 488.4 Kg
Source: NRVA 2005
On average 67% of households in the province have access to irrigated land, whereas 28% of rural
households and 14% of urban households have access to rain-fed land.
Households (%) access to irrigated and rain-fed land
Rural Urban Average
Access to irrigated land 66 69 67
Access to rain-fed land 28 14 26
Source: NRVA 2005
Sixty three percent of rural households, 89% of Kuchi households and 12% of households in urban
areas in the province own livestock and poultry. The most commonly owned livestock are cattle,
donkeys, poultry, sheep and goats as the following table shows:
Households (%) owning poultry and livestock
Livestock Kuchi Rural Urban Average
Cattle 86 56 8 40
Oxen 46 21 2 15
Horses 49 11 1 8
Donkey 63 41 4 29
Camel 23 4 1 3
Goats 71 31 4 22
Sheep 83 33 4 24
Poultry 63 35 8 26
Source: NRVA 2005
D. Education
Ensuring good quality education and equitable access to education and skills are some of the important
ways to raise human capital, reduce poverty and facilitate economic growth. The overall literacy rate in
Balkh province is 44%, however, while more than half of men are literate (54%), this is true for just
about one-third of women (32%). However, in the population aged between 15 and 24 the situation for
men is slightly better with 58.3% literacy, and there is a smaller improvement for women (35.4%). The
Kuchi population in the province has particularly low levels of literacy with just 6.1% of men and none
of women able to read or write.
On average 58% of children between 6 and 13 are enrolled in school, including around two-thirds of
boys (66%) and almost half of girls (48%). Amongst the Kuchi population, nearly half of boys (47%)
and one in five girls (20%) attend school in Balkh during the winter months, however, only a quarter of
the boys (25%) and about one in ten girls (9%) attend school in the province during the summer.
Overall there are 344 primary and secondary schools in the province catering for 305,895 students.
Boys account for 59% of students and 95% of schools are boys’ schools. There are 8,481 teachers
working in schools in the Balkh province, almost half of whom are women (49%).
Primary and Secondary Education
Schools Students Teachers
Boys Girls boys Girls Male female
Primary 272 11 154,473 113,611 - Secondary 56 5 24,843 12,968 - 328 16 179,316 126,579 4,315 4,166 Total 344 305,895 8,481
Source: CSO Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2006
Balkh province also has a number of higher education facilities. The University of Balkh has faculties
of Medicine, Engineering, Law, Literature, Economics, Agriculture, Religious Law, and Education. In
2005 there were 5,023 students enrolled at the university 3,337 men (66%) and 1,686 women (34%).
Of those, 769 students were in their first year, 649 men (84%) and 120 women (16%). Residing in the
dormitories provided by the University are 1,097 male and 103 female students.
There is an Agricultural vocational high school with 12 teachers, including seven females, catering for a
total of 106 students, all of whom are men, and a Chemical Technology school with 46 staff, including
16 females, and 63 male students. In 2005, 23 students from the Agriculture and 12 students from the
Chemical Technology schools graduated.
E. Health
Ensuring the availability of basic health and hospital services, and developing human resources in the
health sector is essential to reduce the incidence of disease, increase life expectancy and enable the
whole population to participate in sustainable development. A basic infrastructure of health services
exists in Balkh province. In 2005 there were 39 health centers and 7 hospitals with a total of 477 beds.
There were also 280 doctors and 270 nurses employed by the Ministry of Health working in the
province, which represented an increase of about 9% in the number of nurses and 18% increase in the
number of doctors in the province compared to 2003. The major health facilities in the province are
shown in the following table:
Health Services
Name Location
Balkh Public Hospital Mazar City
Noor Hospital Mazar City
Military Hospital Mazar City
Jordanian Hospital Mazar Airport
Kodi Barq Hospital Dehdadi District
Balkh District Hospital Balkh District
Khulam District Hospital Khulam District
Health Services
Clinics by District
District Clinics
Mazar City Noor Khoda CHC, Ali Chopan BHC, Karte-e-Amany Health
Facility, Ulmarab CHC, Madan Namak Health Facility, Clinic No.
5, Chughdak BHC
Nahre Shahi District Langer Khana Health Facility, Shahrak BHC
Shortepa District Bozari CHC, Joi Wakil BHC
Dawatat Abad District Dawalat Abad CHC, Chahi Clinic Qaraghojla BHC, Eshan Uraq
Balkh District Maydan BHC, Kole-e-Abmbo BHC, Vazirabad CHC, Boke-Alam
Kheil BHC
Charbolak District Aq Tepa BHC, Charbolak BHC, Ahmad Abad BHC
Chimtal District Chimtal BHC, Pashma Qaleh BHC, Choqanaq CHC, Gaza BHC
Sholgara District Dalan Clinic, Bagh-e-Pahlwan BHC, Paikan Dara BHC, Quchi
BHC, Shulgara Clinic, Puli-i-Baraq BHC
Kishindih District Bala Kishindih BHC, Aq-Kupruck CHC, Qazaq (Zareh) CHC,
Hamrakh BHC
Chaharkint District Health Clinic, Charkent Qaria Ghauch health center
Source: UNAMA
The province also has 252 pharmacies of which 243 are owned privately and 9 are run by the
The majority of communities do have a health worker permanently present in their community.
However, thirty-two percent of men’s shura and 35% of women’s shura reported that there was no
community health worker present, and both groups most commonly said that a hospital was their closest
health facility.
F. Social Protection
Building the capacities, opportunities and security of extremely poor and vulnerable
Afghans through a process of economic empowerment is essential in order to reduce poverty and
increase self-reliance. The level of economic hardship in Balkh is reasonably low. Around a quarter of
the households in the province report having problems satisfying their food needs at least 3–6 times a
year, and a further more than fifth of households face this problem up to three times a year, as the
following table shows:
Problems satisfying food need of the household during the last year
Never Rarely
(1-3 times)
(3-6 times)
(few times a month)
(happens a lot)
(%) 52 22 24 2 1
Source: NRVA 2005
Nearly a third of the population in the province is estimated to receive less than the minimum daily
caloric intake necessary to maintain good health. This figure is much less for the rural population (17%)
but significantly high for people living in the urban areas (53%). In both rural and urban areas just
about half the population has low dietary diversity and poor or very poor food consumption as shown
Food consumption classification for all households
Low dietary diversity Better dietary diversity
Very poor
food consumption
food consumption
Slightly better
food consumption
food consumption
Rural 10 39 34 18
Total 8 43 32 19
Source: NRVA 2005
In 2005, 24% of the population of Balkh province received allocations of food aid, which reached a
total of 265,402 beneficiaries. In addition, of the 25% of households who reported taking out loans,
58% said that the main use of their largest loan was to buy food. A further 10% used the money to
cover expenses for health emergencies. In the same year about a third of the households in the province
reported feeling that their economic situation had got worse compared to a year ago, and more than
two-thirds felt that it had remained the same, as the following table shows:
Dihdadi District Dihdadi DHC, Sherabad BHC, Mashi BHC
Kaldar District Kaldar BHC, Hairatan CHC
Khulam District Qurghan CHC, Haji Ali BHC, Baghicha-Sarha BHC, LogarihaCholiza BHC, Feroz Naqsher CHC
Marmul District Zabihullah Shaid BHC
Note: BHC-Basic Health Center
CHC-Comprehensive Health Center
DHC-District Health Center
Comparison of overall economic situation compared to one year ago
Much worse Worse Same Slightly better Much better
(%) 8 24 42 24 3
Source: NRVA 2005
In 2005, more than a tenth of all households in the province reported having been negatively affected by
some unexpected event in the last year, which was beyond their control. Rural households were slightly
more vulnerable to such shocks, with 17% of households affected, as opposed to urban households
(5%). People living in urban areas were most vulnerable to shocks related to natural disaster and
drinking water, whereas those in rural areas were most at risk from agricultural shocks, as the following
table shows:
Households experiencing shocks in the province (%)
Types of shocks Rural Urban Average
Drinking water 36 17 34
Agricultural 63 0 55
Natural disaster 23 21 23
Insecurity 1 13 3
Financial 13 8 13
Health or epidemics 0 0 0
Source: NRVA 2005
Of those households affected, nearly three quarters reported that they had not recovered at all from
shocks experienced in the last 12 months (73%), and a quarter said they had recovered only partially
G. Governance, Law and Human Rights
Establishing and strengthening government institutions at the central and sub-national levels is essential
to achieve measurable improvements in the delivery of services and the protection of rights of all
No relevant data analysed at provincial level available from national sources has been identified in
this area.
H. Security
Ensuring a legitimate monopoly on force and law enforcement that provides a secure environment for
the fulfilment of the rights of all Afghans is essential to ensure freedom of movement for people,
commodities and ideas, and to promote social and economic development. A recent assessment made
by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) reported that the security situation
in the Balkh province remains relatively calm and stable. A high level of criminal activity is the main
concern of the Balkh authorities and still remains one of the main factors of insecurity. Reportedly,
every ethnic community has its own illegal armed or criminal grouping being involved into drug
business, general crimes and other illegal activity, which mainly affects the security situation in the
province. A certain decrease of incidents related to road robbery has been observed since the beginning
of 2007 however, the number of incidents connected to house invasion and armed robbery of private
residences still remain typical for the province. There have been no specific incidents that could be
related to the activity of Anti-Government Elements (AGE). The UNDSS assessment highlights the
following key factors of insecurity in the province:
Factors of Insecurity
Illegally Armed Illegally Armed Groups (IAGs) exist within every ethnic community in the
Source: UNAMA
Profile compiled by NABDP / MRRD
Information Sources
Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2006, Central Statistics Office
Geography: Area
Demography and Population: Rural and Urban population
Institutional Framework: Total Government employees
Economic Governance & Private Sector Development: Agricultural cooperatives, members, land, surplus, capital
Education: Primary and secondary schools, students and teachers, Higher education faculties, total students, first
year students and graduates, Students in university dormitories, Vocational high schools, staff, students and
graduates, Teacher training institutes, students and graduates.
Health: Number of Health centers, Hospitals, beds, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacies.
Social Protection: Allocations of food aid,
Socio Economic and Demographic Profiles (per province), 2003, Central Statistics Office/ UNFPA
Geography: Topography, No of Districts, Provincial capital – population
Demography and Population: Population by district, Number of households, Main Languages Spoken
Infrastructure and Natural Resources : Road types (analysis by Afghanistan Institute for Rural Development)
Economic Governance & Private Sector Development:– Industrial crops, small industries and handicrafts
Education: Distance from educational services
Health: Distance from Health Services
The National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment 2005, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
and the Central Statistics Office, June 2007
Demography and Population: Average household size
Infrastructure and Natural Resources : Use of safe drinking water, Travel time to drinking water, Access to safe
toilet facilities, Toilet types, Household access to electricity, Access to public electricity
Economic Governance & Private Sector Development: Source of household revenue, Households taking out
loans, loan investment in economic activity
Agriculture and Rural Development: Most important field crops and garden crops, Fertilizer use and type,
Access to irrigated and rainfed land, Ownership of livestock and poultry
Education: Literacy rate overall and for population 15 to 24, school enrolments
Health: Availability of community health workers, closest type of health facility
Social Protection: Problems satisfying food needs, Population receiving less than minimum recommended daily
caloric intake, dietary diversity & food consumption, Comparison of economic situation with 12 months ago, Loan
use for food and medical expenses, Vulnerability to shocks, Kinds of shocks , Recovery from shocks
National Multi sectoral Assessment on Kuchi, Frauke de Weijer, May 2005
Demography and Population: Kuchi population Winter and Summer
Education: Literacy rate for Kuchi, School attendance for Kuchi (summer / winter)
UNDSS Provincial Assessments or UNAMA Provincial profiles, Supplied by UNAMA
Geography: MAP , Location and description,
Groups (IAGs) province
Anti Government
Elements (AGEs)
No Anti-Government Elements (AGE) activity has been observed for the past
6 months.
Criminality and
Organized Crime
In general the level of crime is high in the province and crimes such as road
robbery are increasing
Narcotics Poppy and Hashish cultivation in Balkh is still significant. Reportedly 40% of
poppy cultivated land was destroyed by government and the remaining 60% is
under the control of influential local commanders or owned by individuals
who have paid to ensure their crops are not destroyed. There has always been
a certain tension between Afghan National Police (ANP) and local
commanders who control the poppy cultivation and this remains one of the
factors of insecurity in the province.
Demography and Population: Major ethnic groups and tribes,
Institutional Framework: Line Department offices,
Donor Activity: UN agencies and projects, IO/NGO agencies and projects
Infrastructure and Natural Resources : Road Travel times, Mobile Network Coverage
Economic Governance & Private Sector Development: General economic profile, Major industries/
commercial activities
Health: Health facilities
Security: Assessment of the security situation, Factors of insecurity
Information supplied by United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Provincial Development, Provincial Budgeting and Integration of the Provincial Development Plans into the Afghan National
Development Strategy (ANDS). Draft Discussion Paper for the ADF)
Institutional Framework : Assessment of functioning of PDC
Information supplied by Ministries
Institutional Framework: PDC structure (Ministry of Economy), DDAs and CDCs (Ministry of Rural
Rehabilitation and Development)
Donor Activity: NGO facilitating partners for NSP (Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development)

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