Afghanistan Resource Corridors Project (ARCP) - Ministry of Mines and Petroleum

Afghanistan Resource Corridors Project (ARCP)


The Afghanistan Resource Corridors Project (ARCP) is the flagship Afghan Government project focusing on taking advantage of the investments being made in the extractive sector, including supporting infrastructure and developing the Afghanistan economy more broadly.


‘resource corridor’ is a sequence of actions to turn a large investment in the extractive sector into broader economic development and diversification in a specific geographic area.

A Development Corridor (DC) is a well-known initiative which has been successfully employed in many countries, helping to develop the local economy by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by mining operations including opening landlocked countries to new world markets through access to ports and other trade highways.

This project was established in 2012 by the name of National and Regional Resource Corridors Program under a component of Sustainable Development of Natural Resources Project (SDNRP).After the outstanding work of NRRCP, the World Bank has allocated grant for the continuation of NRRCP, under the name of ARCP in May 2013.

Key stakeholder Ministries for the ARCP are the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) and Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW). The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) will support coordination of ARCP implementation through the Afghanistan Resource Corridors Project Team, while the Ministry of Finance will facilitate its monitoring and evaluation.

Other key partners include minerals sector investors as well as the local private sector, civil society, local communities and Development Partners.


The Need for Resource Corridors in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is entering into a period of transition away from external aid which has been driving the economy.  The very high level of aid is not sustainable at these levels after 2014. The coming slowdown in aid will exert a drag on the economy at a time when growth is vitally needed:

The country will need to find new sources of growth to ensure this economic transition is successful. At this time when investment in the minerals sector is accelerating, the natural resources sector offers a window of opportunity around which a Resource Corridor can emerge.

The mining sector by itself will not generate the changes and the financial resources necessary to ensure Afghanistan’s economic transition. However, the investments in mining can trigger additional business opportunities and social benefits with the potential to transform the Afghan economy.

The Project Development Objectives

The Project Development Objective is to prepare a platform of “hard” and “soft” infrastructure that will enable Afghanistan to derive broader economic benefits from the development of its extractive industries. The project aims in particular at increasing opportunities from job seekers, small and medium enterprises and affected communities, as well as strengthening the capacity of Government institutions, to derive benefits from extractive industries investments.

Role of the Minerals Sector in Resource Corridors Development

Minerals and hydrocarbon development can be a pillar of future economic growth in Afghanistan by:

  • creating both direct and indirect employment and income;
  • developing transport and other infrastructure which will help open up areas for broader economic development; and
  • Generating considerable domestic revenue as well as trade and balance of payments benefits.


The Aynak Copper Mine, Afghan Tajik Basin, Amu Darya Oil and Gas Mines and Hajigak Iron Ore Mines, with Kabul as a central node, provide the opportunity to develop an initial resource corridors in Afghanistan. These copper, oil, gas and iron deposits can provide transport and power infrastructure to regions of the country which need this and which in turn can stimulate economic development parallel to the mining industry.

Rail, road and power infrastructure built to service Aynak and Hajigak and export their production could be integrated with other infrastructure plans and routed through areas of high geological, agricultural and, eventually, tourism potential. If this infrastructure is properly designed, a resource corridor could emerge providing incentives for the discoveries of additional minerals and the development of industries both related and not related to mining.

The Afghanistan Resource Corridors Project Components:  

  • Infrastructure (road, power, water, and rail):  The idea is to leverage road, rail and power infrastructure built by mining investors. This infrastructure will then support other sectors and expand their reach through incremental catalytic investments, for example in feeder roads to support the development of agriculture. It also means integrating power and water plans more broadly.
  • Livelihoods (Capacity Building and Private Sector Development):  Develop the capabilities of the local private sector and increase opportunities for SMEs to supply goods and services to the mining investments, or to develop refineries and steel reprocessing facilities, thereby capturing benefits for local businesses along the mining sector value chain; building the skills of local businesses to ensure they become trusted partners for mining operations; and develop the capability of transport infrastructure.
  • Land and Community impacts issues:  This includes the provision of benefits (economic, education, health) to communities around the corridor through community development agreements; it also means improved land administration including cadaster for all land within the corridor, revised legal frameworks for land acquisition, resettlement and compensation; the protection of physical and cultural heritage; and mitigation of environmental impacts of development to ensure environmental sustainability, particularly with regards to water.
  • Implementation Support: This includes supporting and strengthening relevant institutions such as Infrastructure Development Secretariat (IDCS), Resource Corridors Secretariat, PPP unit of Ministry of Finance, CSOs for accountability/transparency and ensuring effective communication.

Note: The project will be implemented by the Resource Corridors Secretariat, and Infrastructure Development (ID) Secretariat will be responsible for the implementation of component 1: Infrastructure facility, as well as for the financing to support its activities under Component 4: Implementation support.

The Resource Corridor Secretariat will be responsible for the implementation of Component 2: Livelihoods, Component 3: Land and community impacts, as well as most of Component 4: Implementation support, with the exception of the financing for the ID Custer Secretariat.

The Project has established a Team to help coordinate the various efforts amongst a diverse group of relevant organizations in support of the Corridor concept. Its key roles are:

1.     Facilitate incremental investments that increase the economic benefits of hard infrastructure related to extractive industry investments, by, for example, using extractive industry demand to support public goods; and

2.     Invest in soft infrastructure that builds the capabilities of domestic firms, communities and job-seekers to benefit from the resource sector.


Please refer to the ARCP Fact Sheets  , Presentaions  and Annual Activities Reports  for moreinformation.


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For any other information please contact:



ARCP Office/Ministry of Mines and Petroleum -Pashtunistan Watt,

Kabul, Afghanistan

Telephone: 0093 (0) 780385492