UNDP Afghanistan activities are closely linked with efforts to protect the environment, bring sustainable energy to rural areas, and prepare for natural disasters. UNDP Afghanistan works closely with the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund that finance environment projects focusing on climate change and adaption, climate change induced risks and biodiversity.
Rural livelihoods are threatened by the impacts of climate change and climate-induced disasters. Decades of underdevelopment have left Afghanistan, a country already prone to climatic extremes, extremely vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather conditions. Floods, droughts and harsh winters have claimed hundreds of lives in recent years. It is estimated that 80% of Afghanistan’s economic losses are caused by climate-induced disasters.
Afghanistan seeks to maintain and, over time, restore its critical natural resource base. Significant barriers to biodiversity conservation, watershed maintenance, and land productivity include the lack of a clear institutional and legal framework for protected areas, the near absence of a Protected Areas System limited management capacity, and the need for replicable models of effective PA and sustainable land use management.
Afghanistan’s consumption of electricity is one of the lowest in the world. The Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) has estimated that just 40% of the population is connected to public power supply, of which the majority live in urban centers. In the rural areas, where 70% of Afghan’s live, the situation is worse. Only 28% of the rural population has access to modern form of energy.
Climate Change Adaptation
UNDP works with the Government of Afghanistan to increase the resilience of target communities to climate-induced disaster which focuses on public awareness and hazard mapping, Community-based early warning systems, institutional capacity development and climate-resilient livelihood options for subsistence farmers and improvement of the irrigation productive infrastructures.
We support rural communities to increase their access to electricity and thermal energy, focusing on energy services that are accessible in isolated areas not covered by the national grid. To ensure that the benefits last overtime we help develop rural energy policies and innovative approaches to maintaining and operating energy infrastructure in partnership with the private sector.
Small Grants for sustainable development
The Small Grants Programme is a corporate programme of the Global Environment Facility implemented by the United Nations Development Programme since 1992. In Afghanistan, the programme has helped community based and civil society organizations to receive for 57 community-based projects in biodiversity conservation, climate change and prevention of land degradation while generating sustainable livelihoods.