The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable communities, towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, Habitat Agenda, Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and Resolution 56/206.
By working at all levels and with all relevant stakeholders and partners, the agency contributes to linking policy development and capacity-building activities with a view to promoting cohesive and mutually reinforcing social, economic, environmental and countries’ policies and programmes in human settlements in conformity with international practices and covenants.
UN-Habitat Afghanistan:
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, has been working within Afghanistan since 1992 with funding support of USAID, Japanese and Australian Governments, EU, DFID, CIDA and several bilateral donors as well as the World Bank. During this period, its Programme expanded to include a wide range of human settlements initiatives, from small-scale neighbourhood level improvement schemes to community empowerment.
UN-Habitat has been assisting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan through a number of projects, both urban and rural, supported by different donors:
UN-Habitat rolls out its community-driven development projects to major regional cities such as Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif to continue supporting deliver effective services to their population in the longer term. Through the Community-Based Municipal Support Programme (CB-MSP), UN-Habitat will demonstrate a combination of delivering basic services, empowering community people and strengthening local government who will take over and initiate further delivering services to the people in the near future. By building the capacity of municipal structures and its staff in engineering, community mobilization, and in increasing transparency and accountability of finance and administration, the Project will enable them to be responsive to access to national funds to be transferred from line ministries to deliver and manage development projects in a technically effective and efficient manner.
UN-Habitat is supporting the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) to implement the National Solidarity Programme (NSP).  Currently UN-Habitat is directly engaged in facilitating this programme in more than 20 districts of nine provinces. UN-Habitat is partner with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to take up the role of Facilitating Partner in implementing the On-Farm Water Management project in the establishment of irrigation associations in 2 provinces (Bamyan and Nangarhar), out of five provinces covered by OFWM Project, and contributes in improving agricultural productivity.
In July 2014 UN-Habitat commenced a new initiative, the State of Afghan Cities (SOAC) 2014/5 Programme (SOAC) which is being generously supported by the Government of Australia and undertaken in conjunction with MUDA, IDLG/GDMA and Kabul Municipality. This post will support the inception, delivery and completion of this pioneering programme as part of a small team, with linkages to other ongoing UN-Habitat programmes, particularly CBMSP, EU8, and NSP.
The Local Integration of Vulnerable and Excluded Uprooted People (LIVE-UP) programme is funded by the European Union and operates for three years (1 January 2015 - 31 December 2017). The overarching intention of the programme is to support the implementation of part of the National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons in three Afghan cities: Herat, Jalalabad and Kabul. The programme will support communities, local authorities and the central Government to achieve durable solutions for local reintegration of returnees and IDPs through community empowerment, improved living conditions and security of land tenure. The project also aims to strengthen the role and capacity of local authorities, particularly Municipalities, to assist returnees, IDPs and other vulnerable urban dwellers with local integration.
The Afghanistan Urban Peacebuilding Programme (AUPP) is predicated on the vital linkage between state-society relations, local government capacity, and basic service provision in strengthening safety and security. It will provide direct assistance to the development of state capacity at the sub-national level, focusing on municipal administrations in eight of the country’s most strategic cities.
By concentrating on the urban terrain of peacebuilding and state building, the programme will strengthen the production of public goods, especially security; improve local government responsiveness and accountability; and strengthen partnerships with communities, civil society, and security providers, contributing to collective efficacy– all of which are central peacebuilding and state building goals in the New Deal. The programme complements the international community’s efforts to support a highly centralized state building approach, with a bottom-up strategy that builds the state out from community and subnational levels.
The expected impact of the AUPP is: "Women and men, girls and boys, in cities have increased trust in the local government’s capacity to uphold rights, achieve safe, secure and inclusive cities, contributing to improved government legitimacy". To achieve the overall impact, the programme includes three outcomes:
-          Outcome 1: Municipalities in collaboration with line departments better plan and implement demand-driven and inclusive services in the area of safety and security.
-          Outcome 2: Communities particularly excluded and under-represented groups, increasingly and with a spirit of solidarity engage in civic affairs and municipal governance.
-          Outcome 3: National government establishes framework for accountable, transparent and participatory municipal governance in particular in the area of safety and security.