MADERA (Mission of Assistance for the Development of Rural Economies in Afghanistan), is an association under French law, but whose founding members come from several European countries. Its aim is to help rural communities elaborate and undertake their own development initiatives.
Its creation, in 1988, is in line with the actions of solidarity with the Afghan Resistance that appeared right after the beginning of the Soviet invasion. These actions included the establishment of support committees for the Afghan resistance, such as the BIA (Bureau International Afghanistan), throughout Europe. The main idea behind this committee was that supporting the rural world is essential to help the Afghan population, predominantly agricultural, resist the invasion.
The first actions are, very punctually, in the high valleys of Kunar and Nuristan and include supplying seeds and veterinary actions. They are, from the beginning, supported by fundings, initially modest, from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The field team, very small, does not have real logistics. However, connections are made with the communities and the knowledge of local realities deepens.
After the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989, and the seizing of Kabul in April 1992 by the mujaheddin, thousands of refugee families in Pakistan returned to Afghanistan. In 1992, the European Commission released important funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. MADERA expanded and professionalised its action, strengthened its field team. Its objectives were to secure food production: by rehabilitating irrigation and drainage systems, agricultural land, supplying inputs, supporting a network of veterinary clinics, animal vaccination campaigns and supporting arboriculture.
From 1992, MADERA expands and professionalises its action, aiming at securing food production. Activities start in Wardak (districts of Behsud) in 1992, then in Ghor in 2001.
After the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, the main office of MADERA - initially based in Peshawar, then in Jalalabad - is transferred to Kabul.
Since 2005, relations established with communities and local authorities in MADERA’s intervention zones have been strengthened through integrated and participatory development.
Continuity in rural development actions
Agriculture - in the broadest sense - is the main source of income for a large part of the Afghan population. In this sense, almost all of the actions implemented by MADERA aim at promoting sustainable economic development, and thereby reduce inequalities. To implement its projects, MADERA has developed partnerships with two types of Afghan structures: the Community Development Councils (CDC) and some Afghan NGOs.
Although the mandate of MADERA focuses on the implementation of development actions, emergency aid is mobilized in case of need.
In almost 30 years of presence in Afghanistan, MADERA has established strong links with the rural communities with which it work. This long-term work allows MADERA to receive the support of local communities for its projects and work in isolated areas that are particularly difficult to access.
Our NGO intends to continue its actions to support communities in rural areas, strengthening their food security and improving their living conditions so that they have the means to better react to the uncertainties of the future.