UNAMA, July 17, 2018
Representatives of the Government of Afghanistan, United Nations entities and donors set out on 16 July to Farias to explore how joint programmers could add value to efforts to improve key social indicators.
Visits to four projects in Maimana district sought to “give a human face” to Afghanistan Compact indicators on health, literacy, education and environment, and emphasize why it was important to address those indicators jointly.
The Afghan Government and the United Nations system have begun implementing four joint programmers: Healthy Schools Initiative; Maternal Mortality Reduction; Afghanistan Integrated Functional Literacy Initiative; and Green Afghanistan Initiative (GAIN) – the first joint UN Programme in Afghanistan.
Some 83 households benefit from the GAIN project in Maimana – a fruit and non-fruit tree nursery, which aims to increase vegetation and forest cover, provide alternative sustainable livelihoods; and increase environmental awareness. A third of the beneficiaries of the food-for-work scheme are women.
The northwest province of Farias ranks among the 10 worst provinces for maternal mortality, and has a female literacy rate of 5 per cent. While among the best 15 provinces for both overall and girls’ primary school attendance, over 84,000 primary school age children remain out of school.
During the day-long mission, participants had the opportunity to examine first hand joint programmers such as women’s literacy classes, which seek to achieve a 50 per cent increase in women’s literacy rate by 2008, as well as emergency obstetric care at Maimana Hospital, which hopes to contribute to decreasing the maternal mortality rate by 25 per cent by 2008.
A visit to Sitar Girls High School, which has some3, 000 students, offered a glimpse into efforts to improve the quality of education and health in schools. Students repeatedly pointed to the need for better facilities, including books, furniture and laboratories, as well as for better opportunities to pursue higher learning.
In line with Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Unreformed initiatives, joint programmers are designed to ensure that Afghan communities can benefit from joint efforts by national government and international partners by avoiding duplication and reducing transaction costs, and ultimately ensuring that the Organization’s supports more coherent, effective and efficient.