UNDP in Afghanistan
Who we are
UNDP has been working across Afghanistan for more than 50 years on challenges related to climate change and resilience, gender, governance, health, livelihoods and rule of law.
Guided by the government and its Development Councils, our work is fully aligned with the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework and National Priority Programmes, and is carried out in close coordination with partner UN agencies under the One UN Framework.
As the UN’s development network, we connect the Afghan government and people with the resources and information they need to drive their own development according to their own priorities, as well as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the field of climate change and resilience, we provide training and equipment to ensure that government, local bodies, civil society organizations and the private sector are equipped to manage natural resources.
In preparation for climate-related disasters, we help government develop better policies, map hazards, build early warning systems and train communities on how to respond in a crisis.
To help farmers grow and store crops in more extreme weather conditions, we build greenhouses and distribute improved seeds that can withstand disease, high temperatures and drought; provide training on climate change-resistant farming techniques; and build irrigation canals and anti-flood systems to protect crops from floods and drought.
In rural areas, we are helping to provide clean sources of energy through a combination of infrastructure, training programmes and support to design new regulations and finance mechanisms.
In Wakhan, we work with government and local communities to protect this critical ecosystem and reduce the poaching, revenge killing and illegal trading of its snow leopards, one of the region’s most endangered species. We also help reduce the spread of disease from domesticated to wild animals and improve planning for climate change and park management.
Throughout Afghanistan, we provide matching funds to civil society organisations with great ideas to help their own communities, and we promote public understanding of the need to protect the environment and the importance of conserving Afghanistan’s natural resources through media events, community consultations and information products for policy makers.
To promote gender equality, we help ministries assess and revise policies and regulations across government departments, bring legislation in line with international standards and measure progress against targets in the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan. We also support the mainstreaming of gender issues across the planning, budgeting and service delivery of all government offices.
Our Legal Aid Grant Facility provides lawyers for women in cases of violence and discrimination. By promoting codes of conduct in the police and training a new generation of female officers, we also make it easier for women to report crimes and more likely that perpetrators will be brought to account.
We increase the representation of women in government – including in leadership positions, sub-national offices and peace and reconciliation processes – by supporting women to vote and stand for office, and by helping to establish anti-harassment mechanisms in government offices.
We provide training, infrastructure, equipment, marketing support and other services to help women find jobs, set up businesses and expand operations. We also assist women to register land and companies, and work with regional economic forums to improve access for Afghan women to international markets.
Hand-in-hand with religious figures, young people and other groups, we advocate for gender issues across Afghanistan, organise awareness raising events and distribute advocacy materials to promote women’s rights.
In 2016, we helped establish Afghanistan’s first gender Master’s programme, which is training a new generation of experts for key positions in government, businesses and civil society organisations.
By training female health workers from rural areas, we help bring medical services to the hardest to reach, as well as creating role models for girls in more conservative areas.
With regard to UNDP’s own work, all our projects are designed to maximise the involvement of women and ensure they have full access to training, equipment and other support.
Our work on governance includes the provision of training, advice and equipment for government staff at all levels, as well as support for community organisations and individuals to monitor government services and hold their representatives to account.
We provide training and equipment across a range of national institutions, including ministries, parliament, the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission. We also support the IDLG and subnational bodies, including provincial councils, governors’ offices and municipalities.
To help help foster an environment in which peace has a better chance of succeeding, we support the High Peace Council, as well as provincial groups across Afghanistan.
By empowering citizens to understand and lobby for public services, and by supporting the government to set up responsive and efficient one-stop citizen service centres, we help local government help local people while simultaneously fostering citizen trust in the value and effectiveness of state functions.
As the lead UN agency for the Sustainable Development Goals, we support government to coordinate action toward the achievement of nationalised targets and to monitor progress with improved data and better methods of analysis.
On health, we are the co-recipient of three Global Fund grants related to HIV, Malaria and TB/health systems. As part of its wider engagement with the UN, the Fund has partnered with UNDP since 2003 to ensure that grants are implemented and services delivered in countries facing complex challenges. This partnership focuses on implementation support, capacity development and policy engagement, and involves working closely with the Ministry of Public Health across all three grants.
We manage procurement of quality pharmaceuticals and supplies, oversee timely/risk-based financing of activities, conduct monitoring and evaluation and ensure that grant implementation is in accordance with approved work plans, policies and procedures. In collaboration with WHO, we also support the development of guidelines and strategies related to HIV, TB and malaria.
By training medical professionals across the country, from ministry officials in Kabul to community health workers in the smallest villages, we are strengthening the healthcare system from top to bottom. We also provide technical, policy and advisory support and help to improve systems for financial management.
We provide training and equipment to support the diagnosis of HIV, TB and malaria and the collection and management of data at every level of the healthcare system.
From cutting-edge technology in the capital all the way down to hand-held diagnostic kits that can be used with minimal training in rural areas, we are helping to make sure that healthcare workers have the supplies they need to save lives.
Our work is helping to expand new areas of healthcare in Afghanistan, such as mental, social and reproductive health in rural and remote communities.
We support community-level interventions and NGOs who can reach groups who have tended to be excluded from services, such as injecting drug users, prisoners and displaced populations.
Through awareness raising campaigns we are helping people better understand the health risks they face and fostering acceptance of the needs of patients in their communities.
In the area of livelihoods, our projects are building infrastructure across the country to improve productivity, link rural and urban areas and create new sources of income.
We train government officials from the capital all the way down to the village, we help famers improve the way they grow, package and market their crops to maximise income, and we train workers – including women, young people and migrants – with marketable skills to help them find sustainable, secure employment.
As well as improving the physical environment for commercial activity, we provide training, equipment and other support to help old businesses expand and new ones take their first steps.
In partnership with the ILO and UNHCR, we provide training, work experience and job placement services for returnees, and are working with the government to improve safety and conditions for Afghans who leave to work abroad.
We help government put in place the policies required to stimulate growth, encourage business and maximise use of the country’s resources. This includes our forthcoming National Human Development Report, which lays out policy options for managing Afghanistan’s mineral wealth.
With a focus on larger areas rather than individual communities, we introduce new crops and support farmers to expand existing fields with high-value alternatives to opium while maximizing income throughout the value chain.
Along the Afghan-Tajik border, we are supporting local government and communities to start new businesses, market their products and identify new opportunities for mutual cooperation.
As a key part of our work on the rule of law, UNDP oversees the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), which pays the salaries of the Afghan National Police and provides sustainable financial support for the government to institute security and justice sector reforms.
We ensure that robust mechanisms are in place to guarantee the transparency and accuracy of police salary payments and asset management. At the same time, we work with government to build national capacity to assume increasing responsibility for such oversight functions.
LOTFA funding also allows government and its international partners to jointly design sector-wide programmes to strengthen rule of law and access to justice. Projects financed through the latest iteration of the fund are being developed based on a rigorous analysis of both sectors and will be demand-driven, with impact measured against clear baselines.
In addition to overseeing LOTFA, UNDP supports the police to transition to a service-oriented force that can protect people, fight crime and earn citizens’ trust. This includes support for 119 emergency call centres, infrastructure upgrades and the improvement of community policing operations, as well as mechanisms to involve civil society in programmes to improve services.
We help the government implement its long-term reform priorities in the security and justice sectors by improving infrastructure and building capacity in areas ranging from the design of new strategies and polices, to human resources, procurement and change management. UNDP also co-chairs the One UN Thematic Working Group on Rule of Law and Governance to help ensure coordinated UN assistance.
By helping to upgrade national training infrastructure and reform both terms of employment and training curricula, we are making it easier to recruit and retain a new generation of better qualified police officers, including dedicated training for policewomen.
We support legal aid for vulnerable groups, raise awareness of legal rights across the country (with a focus on access to justice for women), build capacity in justice institutions and help ensure that laws and policies are in compliance with international obligations.
Plans are also being developed to help the government improve security within urban areas, including through more rigorous traffic and checkpoint management and improved airport safety and control measures.
National poverty line
Human Development Index
Life expectancy at birth
Share of seats in parliament (% held by women)