The Statement of Dr. Mustafa Mastoor Minister of Economy on “Afghanistan SDGs stakeholders, potentials and challenges” Side Meeting in Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, 28 November 2018

The Statement of Dr. Mustafa Mastoor Minister of Economy on “Afghanistan SDGs stakeholders, potentials and challenges” Side Meeting in Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, 28 November 2018

HE Dr sb Abdullah Abdullah,

Excellencies, panel members Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To better understand the challenges we all face in achieving the SDGs in Afghanistan, I’d like to give you a brief overview of where we stand today. Afghanistan continues to have one of the world’s highest poverty rates, of 54.5 %, Food insecurity that risen to 44.6 %. Almost one quarter or 24 % of our labor force is unemployed, a similar number under-employed. But most importantly/ this number does not include the over 5.7 million women house takers and those who have abandoned searching for employment. Our challenges include but are not limited to: slow economic growth and a highly skewed trade imbalance towards imports.

To bring positive change to this situation, / we require a new vision that can guarantee timely achievement of our SDGs/, related to which we have devised a two-phased strategy/ 2018-2020 and 2021-2030.

➢ Firstly, the nationalization and alignment to already made programs including NPPs/, through a rapid integrated assessment,/. This included identifying priority goals and designing a sequencing framework for their implementation/ These priority goals are important leverage points whose outcomes can bring us closer to other SDGs in addition to achieving/ the goals themselves.

The sequencing of SDGs responds to the comprehensive nature of the 2030 Agenda/, but it also recognizes that Afghanistan has/ limited resources to achieve all the goals and simultaneously/. Prioritization and sequencing will help us effectively and efficiently deliver on our most important promises/ while being mindful of Afghanistan’s financial constraints. So far through the successful completion of the nationalization and alignment phase,/ we have chosen 16 out of 17 goals relevant to Afghanistan/, which contain under them 112 targets and 178 indicators./ This phase has been carried out by an Executive Committee housed under the office of H.E. the Chief Executive, and co-chaired by UNDP. /This EXC has so far conducted 25 high-level meetings with a diverse set of stakeholders and 70 technical productive meetings/. The second phase/ - 2020-2030 / this phase will have the advantage to be solely designed based on the 16 goals from the first stage in an integrated and sequenced manner for the prioritized targets and goals. This document will act as a 10 year development framework. - that will guide public policy and will run to 2030.
Fellow Delegates!

➢ To achieve our SDGs, we need to move beyond “business as usual”./ it is proven time and again that with project-based, quick-impact and short-term dominating development work in Afghanistan/ we will not be able enable us to achieve our SDGs in a timely manner. /We need to move faster to a comprehensive long-term strategy focused on sustainable growth and productivity.

To this end, we have designed the Productive Afghanistan strategy/ that focuses on import substitution to promote industrial self-sufficiency – in targeted sectors commodities – by 2024. This objective is vital to achieving our first and crucial Goal of eradicating poverty. The Goal 1, that also connects with 11 other goals./ This makes the eradication of poverty the most important leverage point in our strategy.

To realize this objective, we need generous cooperation of international partners to share their experience on successful cases, sharing technical know-how and to provide financial assistance in accordance.

Meanwhile, related to industrial promotion,/ Afghanistan’s current account imbalance is detrimental to our efforts to make progress in this area/. Imports of goods of usd 7.8 b greatly agriculture related vs only 0.8 billion exports.

Meanwhile, private sector investment has been the lowest in all sectors including agriculture. simply because of its lower profit margins over the trade (mainly imports).
One key area to remedy this imbalance is to connecting our producers with markets / not only international but more importantly the local market/ that we almost lost it entirely for imported goods while the potential is there and specific attention to Goals 9 on sustainable Industrialization and 12 on consumption and production pattern Will help significantly.
Distinguished Participants!

By our estimates, currently 44.6 percent of Afghans consume less than 2,100 calories per day. The prevalence of hunger and lack of food and nutritional security continues to plague many parts of the country particularly those that affected by drought and conflict.
We need an even bolder vision to overcome obstacles in this area. Moving toward efficient ways of agricultural production domestically and even small scale upto household level can significantly help us toward achievement of our second SDG priority – zero hunger.
To achieve these goals, we strive to work with national and international NGOs to streamline their expenditures to align with our objective. Bcz huge potential is there. Our reports show that around 2,284 NGOs /5,125 projects/ $880 million annual fund and over 84000 staff % female,

We had good discussions with NGOs and CSOs in the last two days including aligning there future work with A-SDG priorities and our follow up systems in utilizing their capacity for achieving SDGs.

Knowing the importance of the Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and strong institutions. We have heard earlier today from both H.E. President Ghani as well as H.E. Chief Executive, the government is fully committed to the peace process and already took significant steps. Fortunately, there were a strong consensus and call by all delegates here this morning on the need to peace and reconciliation in the country.

In response, we are working through a whole of government approach with our international partners for the effective assistance and partnership regarding the SDG Financing needs.
And considering H.E. the Chief Executive's call earlier for partnership, the interest and enthusiasm displayed for the current meeting/ and the need for partnerships for SDGs and continuity of this effective forum, may I suggest to the panel and the audience/ that we may form Friends of A-SDGs group to undertake regular advocacy and awareness building sessions and programs"

 

inally, Lets conclude, by committing collectively our maximum possible support and stronger collaboration / to the implementation of ASDGs for leaving no one behind.
Thank You