UNAMA is responsible for the direction and oversight of all UN relief, recovery and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan. One of the main functions of UNAMA’s Aid Coherence Unit is to coordinate the humanitarian development activities of UN agencies and to promote aid effectiveness and good development practice.
Secretary-General's latest report
The UN Secretary-General's report to the Security Council released on 7 March 2014 provides an update on the implementation of the Kabul Process and aid coherence, and humanitarian assistance, since 6 December 2013, listed below. For a full copy of the latest report, click here.
IV. Implementation of the Kabul process and coordination ofdevelopment assistance
28. On 15 January, Afghanistan’s national budget for the fiscal year 1393 (21 December 2013 to 20 December 2014) was approved by the lower house of the National Assembly, or Wolesi Jirga. Of a total of $7.6 billion, 65 per cent is allocated to operating costs and 35 per cent to development. The security sector alone absorbs $3.4 billion. On 11 February, the Ministry of Finance announced the allocation of $1 million to five provinces under its pilot provincial budgeting programme. The outcome of the pilot will be used to evaluate prospects for the implementation of a more general, decentralized fiscal policy.
29. The participants in the 29 January special meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board assessed progress made in the fulfilment of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework commitments and initiated a forward-looking agenda in anticipation of a ministerial development conference on Afghanistan to be held later in 2014. UNAMA facilitated civil society engagement with the process, as well as discussions between the Government and the international community on the preparation of a joint report on progress made in terms of hard deliverables. To encourage continuity of the Afghan economic and development agendas during the political transition, the 11 presidential candidates were invited to attend the meeting as observers. International representatives reaffirmed their long-term commitment to Afghanistan while linking this to continued momentum on good governance and a rights-based agenda, in particular protection of the gains made in the areas of human rights and women’s rights. Accelerated economic and development progress, including the meeting of key anti-corruption commitments and International Monetary Fund benchmarks, together with efforts to address the illicit economy, were stressed as critical to Afghanistan’s greater self-reliance. The Government reassured international partners of its commitment to the electoral timetable and, in turn, sought improvements in donor accountability and commitment to its aid management policy. Nearly all presidential candidates pledged to continue the progress made under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.
30. The World Bank provided an overview of Afghanistan’s current economic outlook. Afghanistan remains extraordinarily aid-dependent. After a bumper agricultural harvest in 2012, growth slowed to an estimated 3.1 per cent in 2013, with revenue collection weakening to 9.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). The latter is understood to be due both to the economic slowdown and to continued weakness in enforcement. Economic uncertainty is also seen, for the first time, in the 43 per cent decline in the number of newly registered firms in the first seven months of 2013. Formidable challenges remain in the areas of poverty reduction, job creation and service delivery. Per capita GDP remains the lowest in Asia and among the bottom 20 in the world, literacy levels stand at approximately 25 per cent, and there is the pressure of some 400,000 new entrants to the labour market every year.
On 19 January, in a bid to increase the country’s skilled workforce, the Ministries of Education and of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, together with the United Nations, launched Afghanistan’s first technical and vocational education and training strategy, aimed at building the necessary human resources for the country.
31. The Mission’s rule-of-law efforts are increasingly focused on land disputes and management. In January, at the request of the Afghanistan Land Authority, UNAMA began co-chairing a land management working group. The group brings together international donors and implementers of land reform and land-related programmes, advocating workable solutions to protracted disputes that have contributed to displacement in many parts of the country.