Over 30 government officials from the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nuristan and Nangarhar attended a two-day multi-stakeholder Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Agriculture and Natural Resources Management workshop from 14 to 15 May 2018 in Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province. Officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and civil society also participated in the workshop.
The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) are conducting workshops across seven regions in Afghanistan. The workshops bring together central and provincial governmental officials and multi-stakeholders to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have a clear picture of relevant activities at a field level.
AREU Director, Dr. Orzala Nemat said, “We are grateful that, despite major security threats and a tragic incident a day before in Jalalabad city, the workshop was fully attended. This workshop aims to raise awareness on what SDGs are and how its progress could be measured. Government, civil society and all key stakeholders needed to be fully aware of Afghanistan’s obligations toward the global development goals in order to consequently achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
She added that these workshops are unique in terms of elaborating the current government policies and strategies at a field and central level and subsequently addressing the gaps to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The overall objective of these workshops is to build capacity surrounding SDG indicators and identify development gaps. The project will also carry out mapping exercises on roles, responsibilities, and obligations of various Afghan stakeholders, as well as identify how their contributions can be measured based on the relevant SDG indicators, which are primarily related to agriculture and food security.
In coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and other Ministries, FAO and AREU are working to pave the way for contribution to achieving the SDGs in rural communities through policy advocacy, awareness raising, data generation and monitoring.
It should be mentioned that a similar workshop took place in Faizabad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan province, from 8 to 9 May 2018 and was attended by the government officials from the northeastern Afghan provinces of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan. The first workshop took place in Herat, followed by the second one in Kandahar earlier this month. Similar workshops will also be conducted in other regions in the near future.