Signing of Grant Agreement for Afghanistan: Supporting female-led MSMEs to stimulate women’s economic activity, in cooperation with the UNDP

[Goal 1]No Poverty
[Goal 5] Gender Equality
[Goal 8] Decent Work and Economic Growth


On Oct 17, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide grant aid of up to 1.406 billion yen for the Project for Strengthening Women’s Economic Activity in Private Sector in Afghanistan.

Despite two years having passed since the political change in August 2021, Afghanistan remains in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis. In particular, women have accounted for the majority of those unemployed since August 2021, and face a more difficult economic situation due to the restrictions on their educational opportunities, on their freedom to travel without the accompaniment of male relatives, and on their ability to work.

This project will provide assistance to female entrepreneurs as well as female-led micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the seven provinces in Afghanistan that have the lowest rate of women’s economic activity. It will do so through the development of small-scale infrastructure, the provision of equipment, the improvement of access to finance, and the implementation of training activities—all toward helping women start new businesses and expand existing ones.

Signing ceremony

Signing ceremony

By carrying out the above, this project aims to support 1,400 female entrepreneurs and 140 MSMEs, as well as to create employment for 4,800 people. It also aims to enhance women’s economic activities and contribute to the improvement of women’s livelihoods and the sustainable and self-reliant development of Afghanistan. In doing so, this project will also contribute to the achievement of SDGs Goals 1 (No poverty), 5 (Gender equality), and 8 (Decent work and economic growth).

Details for the project are provided below.

Basic project information

Country The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Project title The Project for Strengthening Women’s Economic Activity in Private
Planned implementation period 24 months
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Target region Seven provinces in Afghanistan (Kunar, Logar, Kandahar, Zabul,
Baghlan, Kunduz, Kapisa)
Specific project details
1 Development of small-scale infrastructure
2 Equipment provision and training activities
3 Improvement of access to finance

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