More than a quarter century of conflict compounded by repeated natural disasters has left Afghanistan as one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) for 2007-2008, the poverty rate in rural areas is 36% and 45% of rural populations do not meet minimum food requirements. With over 75% of the Afghan population living in rural areas, rural development is therefore seen as a crucial sector for the development and stability of the country. 

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