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 6 December 2013 provides an update on the implementation of the Kabul Process and aid coherence, and humanitarian assistance, since 6 September 2013, listed below. For a full copy of the latest report, click here.
IV. Implementation of the Kabul process and coordination ofdevelopment assistance
29. To ensure continued momentum in meeting Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework commitments, UNAMA facilitated discussions between the Ministry of Finance and donors in preparation for the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board meeting in early 2014, which will take stock of progress and identify key areas of focus between the Government and international donors prior to a development conference to be co-hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and the United Kingdom later in 2014. A steering committee for the review meeting has been established that includes representatives from leading donors, the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and UNAMA. On 19 September, members of civil society selected representatives for the three technical working groups of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (planning, national priority programme implementation, and the law on the elimination of violence against women and human rights).
30. Slow progress on the elaboration of a development agenda during the electoral process and the transfer of power is inevitable but worrisome, particularly given the challenging economic conditions. The resignation and replacement of ministers and senior officials has had an impact on the speed of planning and implementation. For instance, as work continued on finalizing the last of the 22 national priority programmes, on transparency and accountability, both the senior minister responsible and the head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption stood down to run for election.
31. On 7 October, the Government of Afghanistan circulated the first draft of a provincial budget policy, as required under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. The policy seeks to balance the role of the central Government while strengthening the ability of provincial and district authorities to improve direct service delivery. On 23 October, the Government’s expenditure report for the 1391 fiscal year (21 March 2011 to 20 December 2012, shortened because of a change in the fiscal year) was presented to the Wolesi Jirga after discussion in its technical commissions. The house’s finance and budget commission stated that 25 of 55 government budgetary units had spent less than 40 per cent of their allocated budget. While there was criticism of the budget execution rate and concern over some budget lines, the lack of a quorum prevented voting. On 3 November, the Minister of Finance introduced the national budget for the fiscal year 1393 (21 December 2013 to 20 December 2014) to the Meshrano Jirga. This was for $7.9 billion, of which $4.9 billion was for the operating budget and $3 billion for the development budget. The Minister stated that a large proportion of spending was necessary for the army and police. After comment by the upper house, the budget will be presented to the Wolesi Jirga.
32. Uncertainty surrounding the political and security transition contributed to a slowdown in economic growth in a country in which economic activity is largely dependent on the fluctuating agricultural sector. The World Bank’s October economic update stated that the growth rate, a strong 14.4 per cent in 2012 following a bumper harvest, is projected to drop to 3.1 per cent in 2013. The first six months of 2013 saw an 11 per cent decline in revenue collection compared to 2012. Weak institutions, together with the wider slowdown, are seen as contributing factors. The Ministry of Finance introduced a number of measures to stabilize
revenues, including leadership changes at the customs department; however, the risk of missing International Monetary Fund targets, and thus having access to Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund incentive payments, remains.
33. Progress continued on developing the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the period 2015-2020. Five priority areas were agreed: equitable economic development; basic social services; social equity and investment in human capital; justice and rule of law; and accountable governance. As part of the rule of law pillar, shared objectives were agreed among relevant United Nations partners and a programme of cooperation is under development. The establishment of a justice and rule of law multi-partner trust fund is being explored to help ensure greater coherence in the provision of support to the sector.