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 Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (hereafter referred to as ‘LOTFA’, the ‘Trust Fund’ or the ‘Fund’) was established by the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2002 and amended in 2008 as a mechanism for the international community to provide financial support to the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for the establishment, payment, equipment and training of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers (GDPDC) in Afghanistan.
The Fund was initially set up to cover the establishment/strengthening of the police force; payment of salaries of the police force; recruitment and training activities; rehabilitation of training facilities, dormitories and other relevant buildings; acquisition of non-lethal equipment and supplies; and payment of salaries of uniformed personnel employed by the GDPDC. 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 Support for Payroll Management Project would manage the police payroll and deliver payroll transition while the MOIA and Police Development Project would contribute to the Government's broader policy objectives for institutional development, civilianisation and professionalism, improved delivery of police services at the community level, and for gender equality.
Based on consultations conducted in 2016-2017, a growing view emerged that the scope of LOTFA should be expanded to include the entire justice chain (police, justice institutions and corrections) and thereby cover all security and justice institutions, with an increased focus on anti-corruption.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (hereafter referred to as GIROA or the Government), UNDP and members of the international community have agreed to continue to provide this financial support to the MOIA and the police force in Afghanistan, while expanding the support to other national Rule of Law institutions.
What has been accomplished so far? (as of 24 December 2019)
- Following a series of internal and external consultations, the 119-Emergeny Call Centre solution was formally approved by H.E. Minister Andarabi.
- The LOTFA Security Window Technical Working Group (S-TWG) took place on 2nd December 2019. During the meeting the TWG members endorsed the nominations of the Chair and Co-chair of the S-TWG. The chairpersonship is Ms. Hosna Jalil, Deputy Minister for Policy and Strategy (DM PS), Ministry of Interior Affairs and Mr. Stefan Lock, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation. The TWG members endorsed the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) project document and approved by Steering Committee.
- In 2019, the LOTFA Support to Payroll Management (SPM) project continued to make improvements to the Web-based Electronic Payroll System (WEPS), resulting in 100% of all 138 Afghan National Police and General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centre (GDPDC) payroll stations processing salaries on time without delays; compared to 98.70% in 2018.
- UNDP supported a sector-wide seminar in September 2019 on the need to harmonize and strengthen application of the Criminal Penal Code of 2018.
- The Ministry of Interior Affairs has reviewed and cleared the project documents for Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Transforming Afghan Capacity to Improve Citizen Security (TACTICS). LOTFA donors were also re-introduced to the proposed activities of COPS and TACTICS during a meeting in late October.
- LOTFA-MPTF launched of Rapid Infrastructure Survey of Kabul City Police District Stations.
- To reduce the vulnerability of payroll operations, LOTFA Support to Payroll Management project has put in place Disaster Resilience and Recovery facilities for the police payroll system.