Through implementation of effective development programs, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has always worked hard to ensure socio-economic growth and foster cultural values that have a prominent role in improving the community livelihood. As such, thousands of public utility projects in various sectors have been implemented by the National Solidarity Programme of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/NSP). Considerable changes have been brought about in our rural communities on completion of these projects indeed.
The development process did not end upon completion of the NSP as it has been replaced with a quality, new development program; the Citizen’s Charter. By establishing linkages between villages and cities, the Citizen’s Charter will strengthen the people’s economy. This program will meet the needs of people in various sectors including health, education, agriculture, safe water, power, etc.
An inauguration ceremony has recently taken place to formally announce the commencement of the Citizen’s Charter. The preliminary gathering of the Citizen’s Charter took place on September 24, 2016 with participation of Eng. Naseer Ahmad Durrani the MRRD Minister, Nasir Hameed the Director of Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) and 250 members representing Community Development Councils and Urban Development Councils (UDCs) in Inter-Continental Hotel, Kabul.
“The design of Citizen’s Charter also covers the role of the displaced and the returnees as they were never given attention in the past. We put an end to this favoritism in the execution of the Citizen’s Charter. Moreover, you will not have the responsibility to only implement the projects under Citizen’s Charter, but you will have to monitor the performances of every line ministry”, added the MRRD Minister.
According to MRRD Minister “The National Solidarity Programme (NSP) was an experimental phase yielding some extraordinary results as some 88,700 development projects for millions of dollars have been constructed across Afghanistan under this program. The role of women was carefully considered in NSP implementation, being able to give opinion about the development of their communities”.
While shedding light on Citizen’s Charter, the MRRD Minister said: “This program will be implemented during coming ten years at a sum of one milliard dollars and our villages and cities will experience considerable economic growth in this period.”
Through delivering a rhetoric speech, Muhammad Ashraf Ghani the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has expressed his pleasure over the start of the Citizen’s Charter in the gathering that witnessed the participation of cabinet members, parliament members, donors, CDC and UDC male and female members, civil society representatives and journalists. He has expressed his views, expectations, vision about the Citizen’s Charter as well as indicating the government and people’s commitment and their reciprocal responsibilities in this regard.
The President has appreciated the MRRD and other relevant ministries for designing the Citizen’s Charter program as well as requesting further coordination among them in successful implementation of this national program. The President has also pointed out the active participation of women in this program and praised the efforts they have put into implementing the NSP over the last decade. In addition, he has praised the sacrifices made by the Afghan security forces and took pride in the patriotism and the loyalty they have towards their nation and country.
In addition to expressing his pleasure over the start of Citizen’s Charter and mentioning it as glad tidings for reciprocal cooperation among people, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah the Chief Executive of Afghanistan revealed:
“It is a great pleasure that today a pledge of government, which was only a topic two years ago, has been carried out. In fact, the Citizen’s Charter is building certainty between people and the government in terms of prioritizing community needs and delivering services through the National Unity Government to the vulnerable spheres of society both at village and city levels. I am pleased that six months back we promised that we would start the Citizen’s Charter in the month of Mizan (September)”.
The Chief Executive hoped that the experience gained by the CDCs during the execution of NSP-funded projects would help the government achieve its goals; which are poverty alleviation, employment generation, women empowerment, agricultural development, promotion of education and improvement of health services.
The Chief Executive of Afghanistan added: “As you are in the loop, the main objective of this program is to ensure the people’s access to potable water, transport, health, education and irrigation. This program has various dimensions as it gives people a sense of self confidence. They say I am the owner of my village, district, province and country. When we bring up the Citizen’s Charter, we can see that the people of Afghanistan themselves have a crucial role in its execution. The implementation of this program requires the participation of people in development councils operating in villages and districts across Afghanistan. Provincial and district governors may play a role to see whether or not the people show commitment by serving their communities”.