Afghanistan

UNDP teams up with Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Afghanistan

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Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 January 2003 - UNDP's Programme Implementation Unit responsible for Public Works Rehabilitation such as REAP (Recovery Employment Afghanistan Programme) has taken a lead advisory role within the Ministry of Housing and Development in utility, suburban and public works projects. The signing of the agreement calls for a nation-wide initiative to effectively target the edge of city sectors thus alleviating the already overwhelming demands placed on basic services in Kabul.
At a press briefing held at UNAMA, Eng. M.Y. Pashtun, Minister of Urban Development and Housing spoke with great enthusiasm of the collaborative. "The execution of UNDP's urban and community based works programmes including rebuilding the hamams (public bath houses) are efficient, well-targeted and superbly coordinated within the ministry's strategies and goals for country-wide town planning and housing."

Under the leadership of the Ministry, this new partnership will plan, manage, and implement urban reconstruction projects that have already created employment opportunities for over 30,000 local Afghans in Kabul. Additional REAP programmes have benefited 15,000 Afghans in Jalalabad and 30,000 in Kandahar. REAP projects are expected to be implemented entirely through the Ministry by August 2003 enabling the government of Afghanistan to administer programmes based on the needs of the local communities and municipalities. UNDP is currently preparing a strategic plan for the Ministry on area-based and urban development that will address registration issues for new housing, and the provision of social services, health, and rural migration.

REAP programmes like the rebuilding of the woman's public bath house in Kabul have brought pools of communities together giving women a chance once again to gather in traditional settings and dialogue about daily activities.

This partnership with UNDP, funded by the government of Japan and the European Commission, allows the Ministry to continue developing capacity building groups to train and develop local human resource needs in Kabul and in other major cities throughout Afghanistan.

For further information, please contact Tala Dowlatshahi, Public Information Specialist, BCPR.