National Rural Access Programme (NRAP)


Mohammad Nasir Temori
Programme Manager


The National Emergency Employment Program (NEEP) was launched in 2002, aiming to increase access to rural infrastructure for local communities and to provide employment opportunities for rural labors. As a result of a joint assessment of NEEP conducted by the World Bank, ILO and the government of Afghanistan in early 2005, the program was reviewed and restructured to make a smooth transition to more development-centred assistance in Afghanistan. To mark the beginning of a new phase, NEEP was renamed the “National Rural Access Program NRAP)” with a more strategic focus on the provision of a rural road access network that will connect households and communities to essential services and markets.




NRAP supports enhanced livelihoods by ensuring all rural communities are serviced with access to basic facilities, services, and goods and helps individuals and households, to manage risks through the provision of targeted employment.  The Programme provides the development of quality rural access infrastructure and a mechanism whereby temporary employment will provide a safety net for vulnerable rural people.


The key objectives of the NRAP are to establish a quality rural road network that connects all villages to basic rural infrastructures and services, such as markets, healthcare and schools, increasing employment opportunities through using labor intensive methods and a private sector-led approach for all works and to Enhance the capacity of communities and the private sector to manage, deliver and maintain public transportation facilities through on-the-job capacity development

The objectives of NRAP include:

  • Establish a quality rural road network that connects all villages to basic rural infrastructures and services, such as markets, health care and schools. 
  • Provide increased employment opportunities through using labour intensive methods and a private sector-led approach for all works.
  • Enhance the capacity of communities and the private sector to manage, deliver and maintain public transportation facilities through on-the-job capacity development.

Implementation Strategies

  • NRAP is a joint national priority program that is executed by Ministry of Public works (MoPW) and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD).
  • Under the two ministries, UNOPS is responsible for implementation. Project works are contracted to the private sector and communities (L1 and L2 contracts).

UNOPS also provides technical support in developing standards and norms for rural roads, surfacing options and maintenance. In addition, UNOPS supports capacity development of the ministries in procurement, contracting, financial management and monitoring.

Summary of Achievements to Date

  1. Reconstruction and renovation of rural roads: A total of more then 9,794 km of roads have been rehabilitated in 312 districts of 34 provinces.
  2. Construction and rehabilitation of bridges and transportation infrastructures: 108 bridges with total length of 1,568m; 6,396 culverts, washes and retaining walls with total length of 64,936m.
  3. Construction and rehabilitation of rural infrastructures: NEEP/NRAP has either constructed or rehabilitated 384 small irrigation schemes, 95 schools, 14 clinics, 44 drinking water storages, and 204 dug wells with hand pumps. Furthermore, NEEP provided shelters to 105 vulnerable families who were living in the caves around the Buddha’s Sculptures in the mountains in Bamyan province.
  4. Employment opportunity creation: Through the rehabilitation and renovation of the above-mentioned activities, a total of 14,304,020 million days of wage labour were generated.
  5. Training of ex-combatants through NEEP/RAL project: Under NEEP, the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration/Rural Livelihood Support (NEEP-DDR/RLS) project was launched in August 2004 to provide livelihood opportunities to demobilized soldiers. The targeted number of ex-combatants to be trained is 3,270 of which 2,796 persons have completed their training. Presently 325 persons are under training in project management and craft skills.
  6. Winterization: During the past winters, 1,129 km road were cleaned of snow to keep the roads open.
  7. Capacity Building: 56 technical training sessions has been conducted for 1,450 NRAP and MRRD employees.
  8. Preparation of Rural Roads Master Plan and Preparation of IRRIP (Interim Rural Roads Investment Plan): The resources for NRAPMRRD are coming from the international donor community and organizations, but are not sufficient to fund all the necessary projects across the country. To invest the limited available resources effectively and efficiently, the preparation of a rural road network and multi-year investment plan was required. For the preparation of such a rural road network master plan,, PIU-NRAP MRRD prepared a for the preparation of Rural Roads Master plan and preparation of Interim Rural Road Investment Plan (IRRIP). Through the successful conduct of 2-day planning workshops in different provinces it has collected essential information about existing rural roads at the district level. In this exercise NRAP-MRRD considered the connectivity of the rural road network on provincial maps. NRAP-MRRD established a data base for this purpose and computerized the collected data. In addition the communities specified the need for new roads. The planning exercise has been completed in the 34 provinces and entered into the data base. The GIS unit is working on putting the network on the maps and has been able to complete 34 provinces, and they are editing that data. The preparation of mid to long term investment plan is under preparation of the PIU-NRAP-MRRD which would be a very valuable document for the program.
  9. National Emergency Rural Access Project (NERAP): is one of the NRAPs new projects which designed by national experts of the program with support of international colleagues. This project is going to be funded by IDA through World Bank and ARTF.

The proposed IDA grant of US$ 112 million will be implemented over three years. The project will co-fund the government’s National Rural Access Program (NRAP) and will continue the WB support to this very important priority program. The expected project presentation to the WB board is November 2007. The proposed NERAP will include the following three components:

  • Improvement of secondary roads by MoPW, US$53.9 million
  • Improvement of tertiary road by MRRD, US$51.9 million and
  • Institutional strengthening, capacity building, project management and program development, US$6.3 million

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