Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan is an inter-agency mechanism and UN-Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support UN joint programming in the provision of basic human needs in Afghanistan. As Afghanistan is experiencing fragility and faces challenges on multiple fronts including COVID-19, poverty, food insecurity, droughts and micro- and macroeconomic impacts. Around 18.5M of Afghan people need assistance with 3.5 million people displaced in 2021 only. Over 97% of Afghan people reportedly to face poverty by mid-2022 as per UNDP's projection. Considering that, the primary objective of the STFA is to address severe economic instability in a climate of heightened uncertainty throughout the country by implementing the Area-based Approach for Development Emergency Initiatives (ABADEI)
The Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan has a two-tier decision-making and coordination structures through the Advisory Board and Steering Committee.
Advisory Board (AB) is chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, and include the UNDP Resident Representative, one donor (on behalf of donors, rotating periodically) and one UN Organization (on behalf of UNCT and HCT, nominated by the Steering Committee and rotating periodically). The Board provides overall guidance and advice to the Steering Committee on strategic and policy issues, in addition to the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the Fund and its activities. The Board also serves as a consultative forum to share information on funding coverage to strengthen donor coordination and to avoid duplication of funding.
Steering Committee (SC)is chaired by the UNDP Resident Representative, and includes at least two representatives of Participating UN Organizations and representatives of contributing donors, the Fund Secretariat (ex-officio member) and the Administrative Agent (ex-officio member). The Head of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund Secretariat will be invited as an observer. The SC provides oversight and exercise overall accountability, approve funding priorities, instruct Administrative Agent to disburse the resources, review and approve periodic progress reports, review and approve the TOR of the Fund and its amendments. At the technical level, the programming is coordinated by the Technical Coordination Working Group (TCWG). The TCWG will be coordinated by the Trust Fund Management Unit (TFMU). Decision-making rests with the Steering Committee and implementation of decisions will be supported through the secretariat functions of the TFMU.
Trust Fund Management Unit (TFMU)serves as the Secretariat of the Fund. It provides technical and management support to the SC. It executes and coordinates all management functions of the Fund, plans and prepares meetings of the SC, facilitates the work of the technical coordination working group, reviews and analyzes programme proposals together with the TCWG, submits Fund Transfer Requests, facilitates collaboration and communication between PUNOs, brings together technical expertise from the Participating UN Organizations to review the coherence of the ABADEI Programmes, ensures monitoring and control of operational risks, leads annual and final reporting, manages and supports communications, public information, and visibility.
Technical Coordination Working Group (TCWG)is composed of representatives of UN agencies and donors. It prepares and regularly reviews / updates recommendations for the Fund ‘Allocation Strategy’, including geographic and thematic prioritization criteria, for the consideration of, and final decision by, the SC. It coordinates the technical review of ABADEI thematic components for each region. The TCWG, through the Fund Secretariat, makes recommendations to the SC to finance the highest priority components of each of the joint programmes. It also provides technical guidance and high-level oversight to ongoing projects and makes recommendations to ensure synergies and efficiencies are capitalized across thematic areas and/or regions as much as possible.
Programme implementation is the responsibility of Participating UN Organizations. Each PUNO assumes full programmatic and financial accountability for the funds disbursed to it by the Administrative Agent. The designated lead agency for each Joint Programme will be responsible for coordination of interventions at regional level between PUNOs. Allocated funds are administered by each PUNO in accordance with its own regulations, rules, directives and procedures.
Participating UN Organizations receive funds through the Administrative Agent, the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. The Administrative Agent is responsible for the receipt, administration and management of contributions from donors, disbursement of funds to Recipient Organizations, and consolidation and dissemination of progress reports to donors.