CSP approved at EB.A/2018 session.
With an engaged government, rich natural resources and a young and diverse population, Afghanistan has the potential to make significant progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, a complex and protracted conflict, combined with challenges related to climate change, demographics, gender inequalities, underemployment and transparency issues, have dramatically impeded the country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including goal 2 on zero hunger. The 2017 Afghanistan zero hunger strategic review found that the country suffers from high, and in some cases rapidly rising, levels of food insecurity and undernutrition, and outlined a series of recommendations for addressing the problem.
WFP is well placed to help Afghanistan implement several of the main recommendations of the strategic review through this country strategic plan. The overarching goal of the plan is to support the country to achieve zero hunger by 2030 in a manner that contributes, wherever possible, to the broader, longer-term transition to peace and development. Mainstreaming the cross-cutting issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment, protection and accountability to affected populations, the plan focuses on six closely interrelated outcomes that span both Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17: emergency response (strategic outcome 1), resilient livelihoods (strategic outcome 2), nutrition (strategic outcome 3), value chains for nutritional products (strategic outcome 4), policy coherence (strategic outcome 5), and common services and platforms (strategic outcome 6).
Based on extensive consultations with the Government, partners and affected communities, the approach entails three shifts that will allow WFP to support the country more effectively in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2. First, WFP will shift to more sustainable solutions in strategic result areas, emphasizing not only emergency response (strategic outcome 1) but also resilient livelihoods (strategic outcome 2), and not only the treatment but also the prevention of malnutrition (strategic outcome 3). Second, it will shift to more transformational linkages among strategic result areas, with nutritional product value chains (strategic outcome 4) providing fortified products for emergency response, resilient livelihoods and nutrition (strategic outcomes 1, 2 and 3). Third, it will shift to a more comprehensive, national-led framing of all strategic result areas by supporting policy coherence (strategic outcome 5) and common services and platforms (strategic outcome 6).
These shifts will permit WFP to contribute to the country’s broader, long-term goals by supporting efforts at the humanitarian–development–peace nexus. For example, the shift to more sustainable solutions means that WFP’s work will help strengthen livelihoods, providing people with greater hope for the future, reducing incentives to join armed groups and thereby contributing to stability. Similarly, the linkages among strategic result areas will enable WFP to source its food items in Afghanistan from smallholders, millers and transporters, with multiplier effects for the economy – and benefits for stability – along the value chain. In addition, the national-led framing of efforts to address hunger and achieve other Sustainable Development Goals will support the Afghanistan Unity Government in building trust and enhancing its legitimacy.
This approach is directly aligned with the Government’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and with its five-year plan, the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, which guides these efforts in the near term. In response to calls from the Government for the United Nations to work in a more coordinated and effective manner, WFP’s country strategic plan contributes to the jointly agreed One United Nations for Afghanistan initiative and the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan, which are designed to support the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Consistent with this approach, WFP’s country strategic plan has a strong focus on partnership. Taken together, these efforts will allow WFP to help Afghanistan achieve zero hunger and will support the transition towards development and lasting peace.