The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is a non-denominational, non-governmental, development agency founded in 1967 by Aga Khan IV. The Foundation aims to develop and promote creative solutions to problems that impede social development, primarily in Asia and East Africa. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it has branches and independent affiliates in 15 countries. The Aga Khan Foundation is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.
Areas of focus
The Aga Khan Foundation concentrates its resources on selected issues in health
, rural development
and the strengthening of civil society
. Seeking innovative approaches to generic problems, it tries to identify solutions that can be adapted to conditions in many different regions and replicated.
Cross-cutting issues that are also addressed by the Foundation include Human Resource Development, Community Participation, Gender and Development and issues of the Environment.
Funding and grant making
The Aga Khan Foundation is the principal grant-making agency for social development within the Shia Ismaili
Imamat. The Āgā Khān provides the Foundation with regular funding for administration and new programme initiatives as well as contributions to its endowment. The Ismaili community contributes volunteer time, professional services and substantial financial resources. Other funding sources include income from investments and grants from government, institutional and private sector partners - as well as donations from individuals around the world.
Grants are normally made to non-governmental organisations that share the Foundation’s goals. In some cases, where there is no appropriate partner, the Foundation may help to create a new civil society organisation or may manage projects directly. In 2004, the foundation provided $149 million USD in grants for 130 projects located in 16 countries.
Awards and recognition
Among other recognition for its work, the Foundation received the 2005 Award for Most Innovative Development Project from the Global Development Network
for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in Pakistan.
The Foundation normally intervenes where it has a strong volunteer base. It is currently active in the following countries: