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Urban National Priority Programme

Afghanistans political stability and

infrastructure and above all poor

development prospects fundamentally depend

governance. These challenges must be

upon establishing security and cultivating the

addressed with urgency in order to prevent a

economic potential of the countrys urban

significant deterioration in security and citizen

settlements. Towns and cities serve as

welfare in the urban areas.

essential platforms for the projection of

government authority across a countrys

Through the September 2015 SOM

territory and provide essential economic

commitments, MUDH leading the urban sector

functions as centers of production, exchange

made a promise -- to prepare a comprehensive

and consumption. At present, Afghanistans

Urban National Priority Programme to achieve

rapidly expanding urban areas are suffering

dynamic, safe, livable urban centers.

from high degrees of insecurity, deficient

The Urban Sector has developed the Urban

knowledge, understanding and acceptance of

National Priority Programme in alignment with

existing practices to promote partnerships

SDG Goal 11 to make cities and human

between private sector and community. A legal

settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and

framework can have long lasting and wide-


ranging impacts on all thematic areas of urban

development, particularly those related to

Urban NPP is a culmination of seamless

access to land and security of tenure as well as

coordination between key government

affect vulnerable groups, IDPs and refugees,

stakeholders, and an extensive participatory

women, and youth. A legal framework provides

approach to bring a diverse interest group: civil

the basis of responsive, inclusive and effective

society, non-governmental organizations,

urban development policies, and determines

private sector, international organizations,

the rights, roles and responsibilities

academia, and government departments

The new NPP is built around partnerships with

responsible for development in the urban

the private sector. We must create an

sector, within the folds of policy formulation.

investment-friendly environment that can

attract business and help us build efficiently.

The four principle government stakeholders

Developing a national program for special

involved directly in the policy formulation,

economic zones, preparing to finally zone

governance, and administration of urban areas:

cities and carry out rational land use planning

Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA),

are just some of practical steps already in

Deputy Ministry of Municipalities (DMM),


ARAZI (Afghanistan Independent Land

Authority), and municipalities. These four

To improve the conditions of private sector

stakeholders are also the lead agencies

development for creating more jobs, the urban

responsible for design, development,

sector is also implementing the Clean and

consultations and outreach to ensure

Green Cities programmes that will create over

consistency and equitable representation of all

10,000 labor-intensive jobs in six largest cities

interest groups in the Urban-NPP. National and

over the next 2 years.

sub-national government agencies were

consulted throughout the design and

To that end, this document outlines a

development process and at important

comprehensive Urban National Priority

milestones to solicit specific feedback on

Program (U-NPP) designed to strengthen

policy components.

urban governance and institutions, Adequate

Housing and access to basic urban services

To ensure functional effectiveness,

and Urban economy and Infrastructure which

government must adopt enabling legal and

aims to improve the quality of urban built

regulatory framework based on enhanced


city region productive infrastructure, empower

The U-NPP is organized around three priority

urban youth and women and protect and

pillars /objectives:

improve tangible urban built heritage and green

1. Urban Governance and Institutions;


2. Ensure adequate housing and access to

basic urban services for all; and
3. Harness the urban economy and

It should be noted that the U-NPP is closely

linked to the infrastructure council out of the
sixth councils established by H.E. the

The first pillar will address general deficiencies

in urban governance and institutions. It will

It is worth mentioning that Civil society and

establish a common vision and long- term

urban dwellers will be highly engaged in the

urban development plan; will strengthen the

monitoring and evaluation of the program and

legal and regulatory environment for

also in providing advocacy support.

accountable decentralized urban governance.

The U-NPP would also require a concerted

Furthermore, it will strengthen institutions and

amount of effort and cooperation amongst a

accountability as well as urban planning and

diverse group of actors and partners in order

design and will strengthen urban monitoring,

for it to succeed. The executing agencies will,

knowledge and data.

therefore, work in close coordination with a

host of other government organizations

The second pillar will focus on provision of

(Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and

adequate housing and access to basic urban

Livestock, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of

services for all. It will help promote new

Transport and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Energy

affordable and social housing, upgrade

and Water, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry

informal settlements and urban renewal,

of Justice, National Environmental Protection

extend sustainable basic urban services and

Agency, Afghan Geodesy and Cartography

facilities and improve urban mobility, public

Head Office, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat

transportation and public spaces.

(DABS), Ministry of Womens Affairs and

others), international donors and regional

The third pillar will help to address the

governments to promote a coordinated

particular challenges of urban economy and

approach to the U-NPP implementation.

infrastructure. This pillar will help reduce urban

poverty and strengthen the resilience of urban

Planned outputs:

households, improve productive urban

economic infrastructure and services,

strengthen rural urban and export market
linkages through investment in inter and intra

The formulation of a National Urban Policy


The establishment of coordinating bodies

tasked with advancing urban development

The development of essential information


Improved institutional capacity to execute

essential urban management functions;

The formulation of technical urban plans for

strategic urban centers;

Formulation of a joint Land and Housing

corporation between MUDA and ARAZI

Improvements in the quantity and quality of

infrastructure and housing in urban areas
across the country through direct
investment; and

A comprehensive program of
reconstruction, renewal and development in
Kabul and other cities.

Expected outcomes:

Envisaged results for the proposed N-NPP


A significant improvement in the quality of

urban governance in Afghanistan;

Housing and infrastructure improvements

for nationwide;

Employment and revenue growth

associated with construction (upgrading
and renewal) jobs.

A significant expansion in affordable and

adequate housing in Kabul

Revenue generation through upgrading and

renewal of informal settlements

Enhanced security in urban areas due to

the expansion of livelihood opportunities
Photo: Vladimir Varfolomeev