UNFPA in Afghanistan
PROJECTS & PROGRAMS: POPULATION DEVELOPMENT
UNFPA's primary focus on population and development was reflected in its continued commitment and support to the country's CSO, and the socio-demographic and economic survey and the listing of establishments, institutions, and houses in Bamiyan and Daikundi provinces, respectively. The exceptional circumstances in Afghanistan pose unusual challenges to development assistance work in the country.
Thus there is a need for on-going improvisation and creative solutions to circumvent obstacles any efforts for development planning are bound to face. During the first half of its third country programme, UNFPA was able to meet several such challenges, and assist the government of Afghanistan to devise strategies that would allow it to move ahead, despite inadequacies in systems, and external circumstances, such as war and localized insecurity, which it could not fully control.
An accurate and comprehensive assessment of Afghanistan's demographic features is currently difficult due to lack of data. In the absence of a more recent population census, the data gathered during that partial census of 1979, still form the basis for present day population estimates of Afghanistan which, according to various well recognized institutions, range from 26.0 to 32.4 million as per mid-2011. A nationwide census planned in 2008 was stalled due to the prevailing insecurity in large parts of the country, and the capacity needs of the country's Central Statistics Organization to plan, collect, process, disseminate, and use census data.
Lack of reliable and current population data has been one of the significant impediments to development planning in Afghanistan.
Over the past five years, UNFPA supported a variety of initiatives for population and development:
- Infrastructural and human capacity building of the CSO
- Socio-demographic and economic survey in Bamiyan, and
- Extensive establishments, institutions, and houses listing in Daikundi