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Social Cohesion

Afghanistan: Eshteghal Zaiee - Karmondena (EZ-Kar) Project

Our Goal

The development objective of Eshteghal Zaiee - Karmondena (EZ-Kar) Project for Afghanistan is to strengthen the enabling environment for economic opportunities in cities where there is a high influx of displaced people.

How We Deliver

The Eshteghal Zaiee - Karmondena (EZ-Kar) Project targets Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and in 13 Afghan provincial capital cities with the highest influx of recent returnees. The 13 cities are Asadabad, Firozkoh, Herat, Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz, Maimana, Mihtarlam, Paroon, Puli Khumri, and Taloqan. The project has five components:

  1. Regional and national integration of displaced persons. The component is implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  2. Short-term employment opportunities, reforms, and market-enabling infrastructure and municipal-level regulatory reforms in 12 cities implemented by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).
  3. Prioritized urban invest - ments in four provincial capital cities—Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Khost—implemented by IDLG.
  4. Market-enabling infrastructure and regulatory reforms for Kabul Municipality implemented by Kabul Municipality.
  5. Red carpet, project coordination, and national-level regulatory reforms implemented by the Ministry of Economy, which is also responsible for overall project coordination

This project is co-finannced with $150 million IDA grant.


  1. Percentage of Afghan passport applications in Pakistan processed
  2. Number of households in high IDP/returnee cities provided with short‐term employment opportunities
  3. Number of market enabling infrastructure built or upgraded
  4. Number of processing steps reduced for specific Doing Business reform indicators in four cities