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Voluntary National Review 2021

Watch video of panel where the VNR was presented

Afghanistan VNR-2021 Key Messages
At High Level Political Forum (HLPF)
Realizing Self-Reliance by Accelerating SDG implementation

Afghanistan has the privilege to present its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) report on progress towards the SDGs this year. Since the adoption of the SDGs, the Afghan government has committed to the attainment of this global development agenda. To demonstrate political will and promote national ownership, Afghanistan integrated the SDGs into its national development framework, created an institutional mechanism to enable an environment for policy and technical innovation, and successfully developed national SDGs through robust consultations with all stakeholders.

Alongside government efforts to achieve the targeted economic, social and environmental goals, Afghanistan faced significant existing and emerging challenges, which affected Afghanistan’s development efforts, including the overall achievement of the SDGs. The  COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences, a decrease in economic growth, the prolongation of the peace process and the associated increase in civilian and military casualties, the negative impact of the withdrawal of the international coalition forces and the government’s increased security burden, and the impact of climate change have all directly impacted Afghanistan’s socio-economic and environmental progress, including the achievement of the SDGs. 

Considering the situation, the Afghan government launched the second National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDFII) in July 2020, to continue the agenda of eradicating poverty, developing the country into a self-reliant and productive economy connected with the region and the world, investing in strong institutions, while continuing our endeavors to address the risks imposed by COVID-19.  Our development focus for the next five years will be on peace-building, state-building, and market-building.
At the core of our vision lies the principle of state response to citizens’ demands, especially those of women and the most vulnerable, in a direct, accountable, and transparent manner. The Government has taken concrete steps since its last VNR in 2017. These steps include but are not limited to:

  1. Nationalizing the SDGs with 16 goals, 110 targets, and 177 indicators,
  2. To further improve the political and technical enabling environment, a new institutional set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive with four thematic committees established to provide a sustained high-level platform to engage various stakeholders, including the government, the privates sector, civil society organizations, academia, and development partners.
  3. The National SDGs aligned with the national development plan (ANPDF), which are now being aligning with the second version (ANPDF II),
  4. The national Afghanistan SDGs (A-SDGs) were aligned with 10 national priority programs (NPPs).
  5. Prioritization of the  A-SDGs using the Multi-Criteria Analysis methodology, which scored all SDG targets based on a weighted linear average of the level of urgency, the systemic impact and the policy gap analysis indicators,
  6. Completion of the Data Gap Analysis on the A-SDGs.
  7. The Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for the SDGs was developed. The SDGs Dashboard and M&E framework, SDGs financing strategy and SDGs costing are under process.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial negative impact on Afghanistan’s accelerated efforts to achieve the planned economic, social, and environmental targets and overall the SDGs. The government quickly recognized the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and mapped its trajectory into five phases of; acknowledgment, diffusion, adversity, relief, and recovery phases and organized a whole-of-state response, delegating unprecedented authority to the Ministry of Public Health and the provincial governors. 

The government, considering fiscal realities, undertook a restructuring of its existing programs, closed non-performing projects, and aligned all resources to help meet the immediate needs of citizens, relief, response, recovery, and resilience objectives related to COVID-19. Given the vast impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the short to medium-term, Afghanistan will be unable to meet all financing needs from domestic revenue sources.

We commit and meanwhile attach much importance to meaningful international cooperation for attaining the SDGs. Global partnership is required in the form of finance, technology, and trade, particularly for countries in special situations to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs and the realization of its core philosophy of leaving no one behind.   

Successful implementation of the SDGs complements our endeavors to achieve our national aspiration for granting lasting peace, self-reliance, and economic growth as we move into the second half of Afghanistan’s decade of transformation, from 2021-2025.

Voluntary National Review 2017
Key Messages

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was unanimously adopted by all member states at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, 2015. The Agenda presents a radical new approach to transforming our world. While focusing on the basic pillars of sustainable development, which are economic, social and environmental, the plan also integrated additional elements, being peace, justice and institutions. Overall, the 2030 Agenda aims at being universally applicable and indivisible by “leaving no one behind”.

Afghanistan has endorsed these principles, as illustrated by its Key Messages to be conveyed at the 2017 High Level Political Forum.

1. Political Will

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) has taken action to affirm its commitment to attaining the SDGs. GoIRA has designated the Ministry of Economy (MoEc) as the lead line ministry and focal point for the coordination, monitoring and reporting on Afghanistan Sustainable Development Goals (A-SDGs). The nationali-zation process is closely coordinated with High Council of Ministers (HCM) to ensure the implementation of the A-SDGs, and stronger cooperation with the private sector, civil society and community organizations.

2. Leaving No One Behind

Consultation with all member states has been at the core of the adoption of the A-SDGs on a global level. GoIRA has adopted a similar approach and has engaged all national and international stakeholders in its attempt to nationalize and align the A-SDGs with national planning processes, policies and strategies. Consequently, GoIRA has conducted around 50 workshops, seminars, symposiums and conferences with civil society organizations, private sector actors, academia, media, youth, students and women’s groups.

3. Building Stronger Partnerships

Multi-stakeholder partnerships will be key to mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the realization of the A-SDGs. Coordination between the relevant institutions will be crucial. In this context, Afghanistan has framed cross-ministerial activities on A-SDGs with an oversight commission, ‘A-SDGs National Coordination Commission (NCC)’. The Commission will be supported by a secretariat and technical working groups that work on data collection, data verification, reporting and follow-up mechanisms. Coordination mechanisms is developed to facilitate the implementation of A-SDGs and to report on the national targets and indicators. The NCC will provide a high level platform for direct and sustained engagement between the various government stakeholders, the private sector actors, civil society organizations, NGOs, academia, youths and the international community, with the common purpose of attaining the A-SDGs.

4. Setting National Targets

The A-SDGs program has been defined as a global aspiration. It is expected that each government will adapt the targets to its own national circumstances. GoIRA is in the process of finalizing its nationalization of the A-SDGs, targets and indicators.

The nationalized targets and indicators for the SDGs in Afghanistan have been divided into eight budgetary sectors. The negotiation process required several coordination meetings between MoEc, the line ministries involved in each of budgetary sector, and development partners.

5. Challenges and the Way Ahead

Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, stressed that “implementation is the litmus test of the new agenda”. Every country will encounter unique challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Afghanistan is no exception. In some areas institutional capacity is insufficient. Data collection, analysis and dissemination will be challenging. The political will to attaining the SDGs is jeopardized by security, social and economic challenges.
Focal point
Mr. Mohammad Nabi Sroosh
Director General of Policy & RBM
Ministry of Economy
Mob: +93 707 645 790
Documents & Reports

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Afghanistan is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
Afghanistan to increase public spending on health

Afghanistan will increase public spending on health from $10.92 to at least $15 per capita by 2020. Afghanistan will increase the proportion of deliveries assisted by a skilled professional from 24% to 75% through strategies such as increasing the number of midwives from 2400 to 4556 and increasing the proportion of women with access to emergency obstetric care to 80%. Afghanistan will also improve access to health services - strengthening outreach, home visits, mobile health teams, and local health facilities. Afghanistan will increase the use of contraception from 15% to 60%, the coverage of...[more]

Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Capacity development of SAS member countries for the preparaion of specific policies to implement goal 14

South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is an inter-governmental Organization, established in 1982 by Governments of the eight South Asian countries to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. Countries, namely; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have ratified the articles of Association of SACEP. It is also registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations as Multilateral Organization in accordance with under the Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. SACEP has its hea...[more]

South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme - SACEP (IGO), Ministry of environment, Ministry of Shipping, Coast Guard, Navy, Disaster Management Ministry, Ministry of Fisheries of each member countries.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
19 Jul 2017
18 Jul 2017
19 Jul 2016
22 Jun 2012
12 May 2011
12 May 2011
United Nations