Press Releases

    21 January 2002


    NEW YORK, 18 January (UN Headquarters) -- Ministers from leading donor countries are meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on 21-22 January to make commitments to a major recovery plan for conflict-ravaged Afghanistan.

    Their deliberations will be guided by the "Preliminary Needs Assessment for Recovery and Reconstruction for 2002-2006", which estimates that reconstruction of Afghanistan will cost some $15 billion over the next decade (see annex for details). In addition, in the margins of the main conference, the United Nations will be presenting its Immediate and Transitional Assistance Programme for the Afghan People for 2002, prepared in consultation with the Afghan Interim Authority and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners. It is hoped that this programme will enable the international community to jump-start Afghan recovery and guarantee that the relief-to-reconstruction continuum is both seamless and immediately operative.

    The challenge facing the Afghan people is an enormous one, with much of the country’s basic infrastructure destroyed, the skills and expertise needed to rebuild dispersed after 20 years of war and natural disaster, and the country’s bank vaults empty. Faced with such devastation, the Needs Assessment paper appeals to donors to commit to -- and deliver on -- some $5 billion for the first two and a half years. This does not include short-term humanitarian aid, which is funded separately.

    Prepared jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank, the document is not a detailed, project-focused programme. Rather, it aims to provide a framework for funding priority action across all sections of the economy, determined and implemented by the Afghans themselves, committing donors to the long-term recovery of the country and assuring the Afghan people that the international community will remain engaged in the rebuilding process for years to come. A more comprehensive assessment of needs is currently being prepared in Afghanistan.

    The Steering Group for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan -- Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States and the associated member countries of the European Union -- requested the team of development agencies and financial institutions to conduct the urgent preliminary needs assessment. The Needs Assessment paper to be presented in Tokyo next week is the result of intensive consultations with Afghan civil society representatives and with the Interim Authority in Kabul, as well as among international development partners.

    Previewing the needs assessment ahead of the Tokyo conference at a briefing at United Nations Headquarters, UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown said that by meeting the estimated needs for Afghanistan, the donor community could help achieve one of the central goals of the overall peace-building process in that country: ensuring that citizens could finally view their Government as a source of security and stability.

    Since half of Afghanistan’s population is under 20 years old, most of the country has no real memory of a central government that could effectively deliver education programmes, basic health services, national security or even a reasonable civil administration. So, rebuilding the critical social contract between people and Government is the key to the long-term stability and viability of an Afghan State, Mr. Malloch Brown said. If the international community truly believes the Afghan people must own their future, then they must be given the resources to effect and assert that ownership, he added.

    The assessment emphasizes that short- and medium-term investments in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation should involve Afghan men and women at all stages -- planning, design and implementation. It notes that those investments should be contingent on having appropriate policy and institutional frameworks in place and should promote human rights and social inclusion, including support and protection of women and other vulnerable groups. The reconstruction programme would also help alleviate environmental degradation in rural areas and facilitate private sector engagement in rebuilding the economy. Special measures to support the return of refugees and displaced persons are also included.

    Priority needs are estimated for specific development sectors, and include a projected $1.7 billion for the first year of reconstruction. Of this amount, some $270 million is earmarked for the security sector, $260 million for governance and economic management, $260 million for the social and education sector, $170 million for infrastructure, $70 million for agriculture and $100 million for general technical assistance and capacity-building (see annex for further details). The assessment focuses on areas identified by many Afghan people as priorities for the reclamation of their lives and country after so many years of hardship and massive population displacement. To that end, the provision of adequate security, resources to pay long-overdue salaries, the future role of Afghan women, enforcement of drug control strategies and continuing demining programmes are all emphasized.

    Since the needs assessment is not a detailed "project list", the follow-up process required to crystallize the commitments made at Tokyo could delay immediate funding of urgent priorities. To help fast-track the process of funding quick-impact activities, therefore, the United Nations will call a meeting following the close of the Tokyo conference to informally discuss its "Immediate and Transitional Assistance Programme for Afghanistan 2002" with donor countries. This will provide an understanding of United Nations requirements for immediate needs and recovery assistance activities for Afghans in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries in 2002. Funds required will be in the region of $1.33 billion.

    For further information on the Immediate and Transitional Assistance Programme, and the Preliminary Needs Assessment, please see Annex, or go to



    The preliminary needs assessment for recovery and reconstruction in Afghanistan was prepared jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank at the request of donor governments.

    While initiated before its creation, the Afghan Interim Authority has been consulted on this report. The report, which is keyed to short- and medium-term goals in specific economic and social sectors, is intended to help participants at the 21-22 January Tokyo Ministerial Meeting determine the external assistance requirements for Afghanistan’s recovery and reconstruction. They exclude investments expected from the private sector.

    Funding requirements for the 10-year span of the assessment are estimated at $14.6 billion, of which $1.7 billion are for the first year. Expenditures for the first five years are estimated at $10.2 billion, including $4.9 billion for the initial 2.5-year period.

    The assessment also provides low and high estimates for each period. Thus, the 10-year estimate ranges from $11.4 to $18.1 billion, while the first year figures run from $1.4 to $2.1 billion. Recurrent costs -- mainly associated with salaries of teachers, public health workers and for other basic functions of government -- are listed separately within each sector.

    The following amounts are estimated for capital investments and technical assistance by sector, both for the first year and for the entire 10-year plan:

    • Security -- including security force and police, mine action and drug control: $270 million for first year; $1.2 to $1.7 billion total
    • Governance and economic management -- including governance and public administration, local governance and community driven development, private sector development, gender, environment and cultural heritage: $260 million, first year; $1.2 to $1.9 billion total
    • Social Protection, Health and Education: $260 million, first year; $2.2 to $2.6 billion total
    • Infrastructure -- including transport, civil aviation, water and sanitation, energy, telecommunications, and urban management, services and housing: $170 million, first year; $2.9 to $6.8 billion total
    • Agriculture and Natural Resources Management: $70 million, first year; $1.4 billion total

    Total development expense: $1 billion, first year; $8.9 to $14.4 billion total

    Total recurrent expense: $700 million, first year; $2.5 to $3.7 billion total

    Grand total: $1.7 billion, first year; $11.4 to $18.1 billion total

    The recovery effort will focus on the following key areas: establishing a development framework; ensuring security, justice and human rights; enabling good governance and economic management; providing social protection for vulnerable groups; health and educational services; restoring Afghanistan’s war-ravaged infrastructure; supporting the agricultural system, ensuring food security, and improving natural resource management.

    The needs assessment sees reconstruction as part of the larger exercise of reinforcing nation-building. It stresses the importance of transparency, accountability and public dissemination of information, including timely financial reports -- with the government budget as the main instrument for setting priorities. There must also be a focus on alleviating environmental degradation in rural areas, while ensuring the inclusion of environmental considerations in sectoral projects.

    Other guiding principles include reducing social exclusions, reintegrating women in the Afghan society and economy, and restoring basic services -- especially quality education. They also include creating the conditions for transformation to a modern, market-based economy with a dynamic private sector, and facilitating private-sector involvement in rebuilding the economy.

    Specific activities proposed in the report include:

    Mine Action -- including demining, mine awareness
    Security -- equipping security force, police force

    Protection for Vulnerable Groups -- emergency public works employment; vocational training; assistance for the disabled; fund for women; enterprise development

    Health -- rehabilitation of hospitals, health centres and women’s clinics

    Education -- investments in primary, secondary and tertiary education

    Agriculture and Natural Resources -- natural resource and forestry management; irrigation systems; seed multiplication and distribution; technical assistance

    Housing and Urban Services -- winterization kits; solid waste vehicles; urban roads and drains; urban management/building repair

    Roads -- rehabilitating and upgrading core road network; constructing rural and village access roads; upgrading two-lane secondary roads

    Civil Aviation -- rehabilitation of eight major, six regional and 14 small airports; civil aviation and training centre

    Energy -- capital investments and technical assistance to electricity, petroleum, natural gas, coal, and new and renewable energy sectors

    Governance and Public Administration -- support capacity-building for frameworks that promote the rule of law, transparency, accountability and economic management, rehabilitation of central, provincial and local government buildings, post offices; equipment (computers, furniture); employees

    Telecommunications -- most investment through private sector; possible donor aid to attract private investment in areas of low viability

    Water and Sanitation -- urban water, sewage, on-site sanitation and hygiene for 27 cities; rural water and sanitation/hygiene

    Gender (mostly mainstreamed in sector programmes) -- upscaling Ministry of Women’s Affairs with offices for all 33 provinces; rehabilitation of the Women’s High Association; provincial outreach programme

    Cultural Heritage -- inventory of national cultural resources; rehabilitation of historical sites, the Kabul Museum, regional museums

    Environment (mostly mainstreamed in sector programmes) -- environmental rehabilitation projects, including reforestation, watershed management, development of renewable energy, environmental health improvements; institutional capacity-building

    Local Governance, Community Driven Development -- expansion of United Nations and NGO-implemented community development programmes; training government officials

    Private Sector Development -- short term initiatives at the beginning of reconstruction; includes support for private sector legislation, institutional development

    Drug Control -- establish drug control commission in Kabul, set up five drug control units in key provinces; investment in drug law enforcement, legal framework; monitoring illicit opium poppy cultivation; public awareness, alternative livelihood strategies, and assistance to poppy growing provinces

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