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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is well known for its ability to deliver food assistance rapidly to people in need. To continue responding effectively to challenging contexts while also contributing to longer-term efforts to end hunger, WFP’s Strategic Plan focuses on better understanding of national food and nutrition security challenges and reshaping its engagement through support to national safety nets and social protection systems, to help host governments with their hunger-fighting strategies.
With a committed government, rich natural resources, and a young and diverse population, Afghanistan has the potential to make significant progress on the 2030 Agenda. However, a complex and protracted conflict, combined with challenges related to climate change, demographics, gender inequalities, underemployment, and transparency issues, has dramatically impeded its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 2 on Zero Hunger. The 2017 Afghanistan Zero Hunger Strategic Review (ZHSR) found that the country suffers from high, and in some cases rapidly rising, levels of food insecurity and undernutrition, and outlines a series of recommendations to address the problem.
WFP is well placed to help Afghanistan implement several of the key recommendations through their new Country Strategic Plan (2018-2022). The overarching goal of the WFP Afghanistan Country Strategic Plan (CSP) is to support the country to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 in a manner that also contributes to the broader, longer-term transition to peace and development. With the CSP, WFP in Afghanistan clearly positions itself to work at the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. WFP, through the CSP, will move toward a more comprehensive, national-led framing of all strategic result areas. Mainstreaming the crosscutting issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment, protection, and accountability to affected populations, the CSP focuses on six, highly interrelated outcomes that span both SDG 2 and 17 (partnering for the goals).
Extensive consultations with government, partners, and affected communities, helped to guide this approach which entails shifts that will allow WFP to more effectively support the country to achieve SDG 2, including a shift to a more comprehensive, national-led framing of all strategic result areas, by supporting policy coherence. This will help the GoIRA to build trust and enhance its legitimacy. These shifts will also permit WFP to contribute to the broader, long-term goals of the country by operationalizing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. This approach is directly aligned with the government’s commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and with its five-year plan – the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) – for making progress on the SDGs.
The Strategic Outcome 5 (SO5) in the CSP enables WFP to support the national and local structures that bring coherence to the overall effort and provide the frame within which WFP works. In line with the shifts, WFP Country Office is hiring a senior National Programme Policy Officer to lead its efforts on policy coherence and achieve the outputs and outcomes under SO5. The incumbent will report to the Deputy Country Director for Programme and Operations.