I was heartened to see the July 12 front-page article on Afghanistan’s Wakhan district [“ ‘The world has left us behind’ ”]. Certainly many points about the country’s marginalized groups and remote populations are valid. Still, the larger context is that the U.S. government is working with partners, including the Aga Khan Development Network, in Wakhan on better governance and services in health and education.
The Post pointed to an incomplete, decades-old dirt road as evidence that not much has changed in the region. In fact, you can’t drive across Wakhan without traversing nine big bridges and passing 10 schools and seven irrigation canals built and supported by us. We work on more than 70 infrastructure projects and support more than a dozen early childhood centers. We and others are creating capacity for services that address health, education and livelihoods ranging from savings groups to ecotourism. Things are changing. Efforts include our partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development on Multi-Input Area Development, which engages public and private investment for integrated development in northern Afghanistan for the next five years.
While more must be done, much is already taking place, creating big changes in access to services, markets and food security. These are making a world of difference to people in Wakhan.
Mirza Jahani, Washington
The writer is chief executive of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.