Strengthening resilience of Kalasha communities

Project completed

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Conflict & fragility
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Conflict prevention
15.11.2017 - 31.12.2019
CHF 600'000
Background The remaining 4,000 Kalasha people in Pakistan are on the verge of extinction. The project targets this non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush region, to sustainably safeguard and protect their rights to practice, promote, and enjoy their cultural heritage. The project incorporates a comprehensive sustainable eco-tourism approach where the economic and socio-cultural environment is improved and policy frameworks are created.
Objectives Women and men of Kalasha are empowered and exercise their cultural practices in a peaceful and sustainable environment.
Target groups
  • 4,000 women and men of the Kalasha communities in 3 targeted valleys of the Chitral District (north-western Pakistan), together with the other communities of these valleys
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial and local Governments
  • The whole population of Chitral indirectly (450’000 inhabitants)


Medium-term outcomes An empowering socio-cultural environment including policy frameworks is created for the Kalasha people.

Expected results:  

  1. A comprehensive right based mapping of Chitral-Kalasha’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage are carried out and are promoted by communities, academic experts and local authorities (tourism, archaeology and culture departments).
  2. Chitral-Kalasha community stakeholders’ awareness and capacities built to participate in and promote sustainable eco-tourism.
  3. District and Law enforcement authorities trained and sensitized to systemically facilitate tourism in Chitral and the Kalasha valleys in an informed, rights based and culturally responsive manner.
  4. A “Sustainable Eco-tourism destination Management Policy” developed, that is based on local priorities, international guidelines and regional best practices to promote tourism in Chitral with specific focus on Kalasha Valleys.

Results from previous phases:  

Switzerland has been paying particular attention to the rights of religious and cultural minorities, incl. of the Kalasha throughout its interventions in Pakistan. During a SDC funded consultative workshop in January 2017 “Promotion of eco-tourism in Kalasha”, Chitral and Kalasha people, Government officials, thematic experts and NGOs agreed to develop and to operationalize their own framework for the promotion of ecotourism by developing environmental Codes of Conduct (self-regulation and government policies and support).

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allocated appr. CHF 500,000 for the next 36 months for the “Promotion, Preservation, and Development of Kalasha Culture”, complementing Switzerland and UNESCO’s efforts.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Schweizerische UNESCO-Kommiss

Other partners
  • Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Kalasha people, civil society and possibly other committed donors
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s project “Promotion, Preservation, and Development of Kalash Culture” (co-funding with focus on infrastructure components)
  • SDC funded Small Action for promoting education schemes by the Hund and Chitral Museums 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   600'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   593'886
Project phases

Phase 1 15.11.2017 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)