Afghan Government Explains Its Priority Programmes Ahead of Tokyo

27 Jun 2012

Afghan Government Explains Its Priority Programmes Ahead of Tokyo

KABUL -  President Hamid Karzai has said he expects $4 billion in funding for civilian assistance at the International Conference in Tokyo in two weeks. The pledges would back the Government’s National Priority Programmes (NPPs) during the periods of Transition and Transformation. Below is an overview of the NPPs as explained by senior officials in the Ministry of Finance.

The Government had planned to present 16 out of 22 National Priority Programmes (NPPs) in Tokyo on 8 July. So far 11 of those NPPs have been endorsed by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), the highest level decision-making body in Afghanistan co-hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The Standing Committee on Governance, Human Resources Development and Infrastructure Development has approved six other NPPs which will likely be endorsed by the JCMB at its next meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

“The remaining five programmes will be completed before August. Their framework was already approved by the international community at the Kabul Conference in 2010,” said Ameen Habibi, Director General for Strategic Policy Implementation within the Ministry of Finance.

The NPPs are grouped together into six clusters to strengthen coordination among government institutions and international organizations with the overall focus of economic development: Security, Governance, Human Resources Development, Infrastructure Development, Private Sector Development and Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The NPPs will guide us towards self-sufficiency and enable Afghanistan rely on its own resources through legal revenue and income,” said Naheed Sarabi, Acting Director of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy within the Ministry of Finance.

The initial implementation timeframe of the NPPs is three years, but will continue during the Transition period starting in 2014 and the Transformation period which will follow ending in 2024.

The NPPs are not new programmes but are built on existing government programmes with some new initiatives, such as integration of institutional building and reforms to service delivery.

The initial proposal of NPPs presented in London Conference in 2010. Later in the same year, the international Kabul Conference endorsed the initial plan of 22 NPPs and a six months deadline was set for Afghan Government to complete formulation of all the NPPs by December 2010 in coordination with the donor community in Afghanistan through a consultative process.

“The deadline could not be achieved due to the lack of capacity to some extent and unavailability of the required level of support by the donors. The scandal of Kabul Bank also significantly affected the process,” Ms. Sarabi noted.

The need to develop NPPs stemmed from an internal evaluation of Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) in 2009, which suggested the prioritization of national document and its sector strategies and to make it more focused in approaches.

“The donors would implement a project and would link it somehow with the government programme, but it was not necessarily a project that the Government wanted,” Ms. Sarabi said.

By UNAMA Kabul