Afghan policeman in a checkpoint in Herat city. He says "We stop cars covered in snow because this will cause accidents and as well we can't distinguish the car in case there is an incident." Photo: © UNDP / S. Omer Sadaat

Kabul, Afghanistan, 03 February 2021
— In line with the international community’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan during the Geneva Conference in November 2020, the Government of Japan has announced a US$ 122.2 million fund to support humanitarian and development programmes in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. US$ 74.5 million from the funding will be directed entirely to the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) managed by UNDP Afghanistan Country Office.

This new funding will be channelled towards Afghan National Police salaries and toward assisting the Ministry of Interior Affairs in its policewomen recruitment and training programmes at the Sivas Police Training Academy in Turkey.

Japan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, H.E Mr. Takashi OKADA, highlighted that “An enhanced security sector plays an essential role in the Afghan-led nation-building as we gaze at peace on the horizon.”

According to the news release by Japan Embassy in Kabul, “this is a vigorous step forward in realizing Japan’s pledge delivered at the Geneva Conference in November 2020, where Foreign Minister Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu affirmed Japan’s long-lasting friendship with and support for the people of Afghanistan and pledged financial assistance up to 180 million USD per year between 2021 and 2024, a figure comparable to the past four years”.

The Government of Japan continues to stand as one of the top two funding partners of LOTFA since 2008. Japanese contribution enables LOTFA to secure continuity, sustain remuneration over time and UNDP to continue improving internal control processes around payroll management and Gender equality within the Afghan National Police.

Reacting to this pleasant news, Ms. Surayo Buzurukova, UNDP Afghanistan’s Senior Deputy Resident Representative for Programme, remarked, “through Japan’s assistance, UNDP Afghanistan will continue to support the people of Afghanistan by building the kind of institutions and infrastructure that ensure human security and strengthen livelihoods across the country.”

Japan has continuously assisted Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts in various fields including security, agriculture, rural development, human capacity development, education, health, infrastructure, culture, and humanitarian assistance. Japanese embassy affirms, “the cumulative Japanese assistance to Afghanistan since 2001 will amount to 6.9 billion USD”.

Ambassador Takashi further stated, “In light of the global pandemic, we also believe that assistance for the vulnerable segment of the population who are most severely affected is essential.”

A professional and disciplined police force is a pre-requisite to internal security and facilitating a smooth transition from the currently militarized form of policing to a more service-oriented form of law enforcement, carried out by both female and male police officers. The Sivas Police Training Academy initiative of women police capacity building commenced in Afghanistan in 2013. Since then, 1668 female police officers have completed training at the Academy in Turkey.

The Afghan Government and the international community have been working together to build a national police force that can ensure safety and enforce law and order for all Afghan citizens, men and women, young and old, in rural and urban settings. 

“We truly hope that this new support will contribute to bringing about as many joyous smiles of Afghan people as possible.”- Ambassador Takashi

The LOTFA is a UNDP Trust Fund established in 2002 to support the establishment, payment, equipment and training of Afghanistan’s police force.  Since its establishment, approximately US$ 6.1 billion has been channelled through LOTFA. Of this, the Japanese contribution has been approximately US$ 1.7 billion (as of 31 December 2020). The Fund has disbursed over 90 percent of salary payments: The Afghan National Police (ANP) salary payments since 2002 and uniformed prison personnel since 2008. Since November 2018, LOTFA has been upgraded into a Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to enable it to support programmes across the entire justice and rule of law chains in Afghanistan. 

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