An Afghan railway project is among six development projects honored by the United States government.
The Development Impact Honors awards, announced on July 23, recognize the projects' "exceptional" developmental impact on some of the world's most politically fragile countries or its poorest people.
The 75-kilometer railway that links the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif to Uzbekistan is Afghanistan's first railroad in almost a century.
Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the railway was completed in 2011. It cost about $170 million to build.
The U.S. Treasury Department said the railroad has provided some 1,200 jobs, helped boost the areas' economic growth, lowered the price of goods, and reduced poverty.
The other projects include basic health and water services in Yemen, microfinancing for small-scale farmers in Bangladesh, and training for low-income youth in Brazil.