Emergency relief and finding new paths

Project description

Title: Development-oriented emergency and transitional aid (DETA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); German Federal Foreign Office (AA); German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
Overall term: Up to 2013


More than 30 years of war have wrecked Afghanistan’s infrastructure. Schools, hospitals, roads, wells and canals have either been destroyed or not maintained. Added to this, Afghanistan’s mountain valleys have an extremely harsh climate. Their inhabitants have to cope with heat waves, droughts and flooding. In winter many roads in the provinces are impassable. Many villages are then cut off from public facilities and trading places.


Short-term emergency aid, complex reconstruction programmes and food security programmes have tangibly improved people’s living conditions within a short time.


GIZ provides development-oriented emergency and transitional aid (DETA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Most of the projects run for a term of six months to three years. They bridge the period until long-term development cooperation projects can be realised. In Afghanistan DETA works in two ways: first, larger infrastructure projects called ‘backbone projects’ are implemented along development axes. Second, funding is used to implement projects which the municipalities themselves apply for. The ‘Province Development Fund’ (PDF) administers funding from BMZ, the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) and the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). The municipalities lodge applications which are assessed by an Afghan-German Team. This ensures that the money is administered transparently. In the projects most of the funding is used for rebuilding schools or health stations, for afforestation or for advisory services for local government.

Local staff are used for all the measures. They thus earn their own income and acquire new skills. DETA also enhances the competencies of village councils and district administrations, whose members are thus trained for long-term development cooperation.

Results achieved so far

The DETA projects concentrate on the north and north-east of Afghanistan. Since 2007 more than 640 small-scale projects have been implemented in these regions. Most of them are construction projects for building bridges, roads, irrigation and drinking water systems, and health stations. New equipment has been provided for schools.

In the provinces Badakhshan, Kunduz and Takhar, GIZ has realised ten major projects within only two years. More than 550 kilometres of roads have been either constructed or made serviceable, and 153 wells have been built. So far a total of more than two million people have benefited from DETA measures.