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The Aga Khan Housing Boards (AKHB)

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The goal of the Aga Khan Housing Boards (AKHB) in India and Pakistan is the improvement of housing design and living conditions, especially through better water supply and sanitation. They give technical advice and provide construction management services to organizations that build housing for both urban and rural communities.

Along with housing for disadvantaged families in urban areas, the Housing Board in India provides services to rural population in Gujrat and Maharastra, from the resettlement of families in drought-prone areas to habitat upgrading and the provision of sanitation and clean water. In Pakistan, the Housing Board has built schools, hostels and medical centers, mostly in the mountainous areas of the North. It operates programmes in technical assistance and construction skills development and, as in India, promotes sanitation and clean water provision.

The Ismaili Imamate's concern to stimulate economic activity, which can improve the quality of life, has given rise to institutions that now span several continents and sectors of activity. From self-help finance and insurance companies founded for the Ismaili community at the turn of the century, the Imamate's economic activities have grown to include initiatives in industrial development and tourism promotion as well as financial services. Located principally in Asia and Africa, they serve broad national constituencies with companies and projects that range from food processing to telecommunications. They also contribute to regional development through strategies, which build sectoral strengths across national borders.

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