ANNEX II: AFGHANISTAN AND THE AFGHANISTAN
EMERGENCY TRUST FUND (AETF)
In 2005, OCHA, through the Coordination and Response Division and the Administrative Office, continued to support the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction within the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).Within the auspices of an integrated mission, the DSRSG functions also as the RC/HC.
Although the focus in Afghanistan has clearly moved on to reconstruction, the humanitarian situation remains volatile three years after the end of the war. Nearly 6.5 million Afghans remain food insecure, approximately half of them chronically and half seasonally. Some 150,000 IDPs remain of concern due to drought, insecurity and land issues as obstacles to return, while Afghans also face continued large-scale population displacements, a degraded environment prone to natural disasters, limited access to basic services, vulnerable livelihoods and pockets of intense insecurity or violent conflict.
While the transition to recovery and reconstruction has been gaining momentum, many inequalities between provinces and serious humanitarian concerns remain.
Therefore, although OCHA does not maintain an independent office, it continues to support the office of the DSRSG/RC/HC in its coordination of humanitarian affairs, including in relation to: advocacy and donor liaison, civil-military relations, surge capacity requirements, natural disaster management and preparedness, and advice on internal displacement, protection and assistance.
The OCHA-funded staff support throughout the year consisted of one humanitarian affairs officer, one IDP advisor, one civil-military affairs officer, two programme/ finance officers, and three senior humanitarian affairs officers heading UNAMA regional offices. The staff presence will be scaled down further in 2006.
Programme Activities Implemented by UNAMA
In line with the two Memoranda of Understanding between OCHA and UNAMA, two programme activities continued to be implemented in 2005.
MoU I relates to the utilisation of 7.8 million euro contributed by the Netherlands to support NGO relief and rehabilitation activities. This funding provided resources to immediately assist emergency and rehabilitation needs in communities in Afghanistan by contracting NGOs, either local or international.
A total of 48 projects in nine areas of activity (livelihoods, resettlements, rehabilitation, research, health, capacity building, education, disaster management, and media) were financed under this arrangement.
A small amount of funding remaining at the end of 2005 has been programmed for one final road construction project, and activities under the MOU are due to be completed by 31 August 2006. A request for extension of the MoU is with the donor.
MoU II relates to the use of US$ 15.2 million for humanitarian and economic development activities, in line with the original mandate of the Afghanistan Emergency Trust Fund. The funding has been derived from the Miscellaneous and Interest Income accumulated in the AETF during its 15-year existence, as well as some remaining voluntary contributions by donors.
By the end of 2005, approximately US$ 13.7 million had been programmed by UNAMA under this MoU, against 68 projects through a broad cross-section of organisations in various regions of Afghanistan. The areas of activity included capacity building, disaster preparedness and information management.
As foreseen, constraints in access to certain parts of the country, either due to insecurity or severe weather conditions, delayed the implementation of some projects. Thus, the MoU has been extended to 31 December 2006.
Financial Analysis of the AETF
for the Year 2005
The full amount available for MoU I, amounting to US$ 8,398,377, has been programmed by UNAMA. Accumulated expenditures of US$ 8,077,161 were recorded against that MOU as at the end of 2005.
For MOU II, allotments of US$ 13,647,020 have been done by OCHA. Accumulated expenditure of US$ 4,467,958 was recorded against that MoU by the end of 2005. The balance is to be re-phased for 2006. US$ 1,552,980 is available for further programming towards activities outlined in the MoU.
The Afghanistan Emergency Trust Fund was also used to support the Afghanistan-related activities of the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN).
The available balance in the AETF at the end of the year was US$ 5,447,469. The commitments and outstanding advances against the fund as of 31 December 2005 are detailed in the accompanying table.