UN-HABITAT has been assisting the Islamic Transitional State of Afghanistan to consolidate its role in nation building, demonstrating that a well-conceived rehabilitation process can be an instrument of reconciliation among communities in conflict. Advocating partnerships with community groups, NGOs, municipalities, local governments, UN agencies and bilateral donors, UN-HABITAT has provided support to complex areas of physical reconstruction and social rehabilitation. UN-HABITAT has been managing 10 projects covering a range of human settlements development issues and concerns.
The National Solidarity project aimed to assist the government in developing a detailed approach, strategy, and work plan for the implementation of a nationwide community empowerment initiative known as the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). UN-HABITAT is also the designated secretariat for the Urban Programme. Together, these programmes constitute two of the six pillars of the National Development Programme. Under the aegis of NSP, block grants will be made available to some 20,000 communities across the nation as a way of building local capacity to manage local development and participate in national policy.
Through the ten projects, UN-HABITAT has been assisting key municipalities in managing their municipal solid waste activities, carrying out immediate repair and restoration of urban basic services, generating paid employment for the urban poor, and initiating a coherent approach to urban management. Through the Urban Programme Secretariat policy, papers on priority themes have been prepared and deliberated. Lastly, UN-HABITAT has helped MUDH develop an urban reconstruction plan that prioritizes both the physical and institutional needs of the urban sector. It is estimated that UN-HABITAT activities in the country directly benefit over 2 million people.
The Government has endorsed the housing strategy prepared by UN-HABITAT under the aegis of the Urban Secretariat. Basic urban services like solid waste disposal have improved both in coverage and quality. In addition, innovative approaches to housing reconstruction have been demonstrated through the Shomali Plain rural housing reconstruction project, on the basis of which MRRD intends to develop a rural housing strategy.