Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA)
The Afghan Government and international community have been working together for well over a decade to build a national police force that can ensure safety and enforce law and order in Afghanistan for all citizens, men and women, young and old, in rural and urban settings.
Since 2001, the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) has been funding police salaries, improving police capacity and developing systems within the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA). The number of police has grown over time, and has now reached more than 150,000. The MOI has a 10-year vision and a 5-year strategy, and filled a significant number of senior and mid-level positions with educated professionals.
The task is now for the MOIA to transform the police from a counter-insurgency force into one that focuses on enforcing the rule of law and dealing with crime. Currently, levels of training remain low – literacy rate among police is hardly at 20% and new recruits join the force after only a few weeks of basic instruction. Once on the job, there are few opportunities for professional development or training.
Allegations of corruption, nepotism and human rights abuses undermine the trust and confidence of the public, and mechanisms to investigate and punish abuses need to be improved.
Female enrolment is limited. Women make up less than 2% of serving officers and they are usually restricted to lower level roles. Those courageous enough to join the force are often denied the chance to work effectively, or face harassment from colleagues in the workplace.
To enable Afghanistan to build on the progress it made over the past 15 years, UNDP and the donor community have been working closely with the government to build and maintain a professional police force and implement the reform priorities of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA).
In 2015, UNDP, donors and the Afghan Government agreed on a new mechanism for the fund that includes building capacity to manage payroll functions, improving institutions within the MOIA, reforming laws and procedures, professionalizing police, and enhancing police-community partnerships. There are now two projects under the fund: Support to Payroll Management (SPM) and MOIA and Police Development (MPD).
The United States of America, European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Korea, Germany, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland and Estonia continue to fund LOTFA.