The United Nations in Afghanistan on Monday released its Strategic Framework for Afghanistan for the period 2023-2025, outlining the UN’s approach to addressing basic human needs in the country.
The UN’s new strategic Framework prioritizes the needs and rights of those most vulnerable, including women and girls, children and youth, internally displaced persons, returnees, refugees, and ethnic and religious minorities, the statement said.
“Our Strategic Framework is a robust offer of assistance to the people of Afghanistan to address their basic human needs and complement the ongoing delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva.
According to the statement, the UN Strategic Framework was developed in close consultations with Member States, partners, and stakeholders.
The New Strategic Framework has three complementary and mutually reinforcing joint priorities to support the basic human needs of the Afghan people:
Sustained Essential Services in crucial sectors such as health, nutrition, education, employment, water, sanitation, hygiene, social protection, and protection that are accessible to all, affordable, and can be delivered free from all forms of discrimination.
Economic Opportunities and Resilient Livelihoods through creating an enabling environment that facilitates economic growth and provides decent work opportunities, especially for excluded groups such as women.
Social Cohesion, Inclusion, Gender Equality, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law – as prerequisites for sustainable development and peace in Afghanistan – strengthening civil society engagement and advocacy for alignment of Afghanistan’s normative and legal frameworks with international human rights instruments.
“The United Nations and its partners recognize that humanitarian aid alone will not be enough to sustainably address the large-scale and increasing human suffering of the Afghan people in the medium and long term,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim, Daniel Endres.
Providing moral support in response to the increasingly oppressive environment affecting all Afghans, particularly women and girls, is a specific priority of the UN Strategic Framework.
The ban on Afghan women working for the UN is an addition to earlier restrictions imposed on Afghan women and girls by the de facto authorities, including bans on women working for NGOs and other diplomatic organizations, bans on girls enrolling in secondary and tertiary institutions, and bans on women and girls entering public parks, baths, and gyms.
The restriction on Afghan women adds to the dire humanitarian crisis in the country and paralyzes half of the society, women.
These and other edicts limit women and girls’ physical movement and participation in economic, social and public life.
“Whether the UN can fully implement this framework will depend on actions by the de facto authorities and donor support,” said Mr Endres.