US’s SHAHAR Project Supports 30 Municipalities in Afghanistan

in Afghan Business

US’s SHAHAR Project Supports 30 Municipalities in Afghanistan

The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass, has announced support to an additional 10 municipalities in Afghanistan. This brings the total support by the U.S. government to 30 under its Strong Hubs for Afghan Hope and Resilience (SHAHAR) project.  SHAHAR works to improve transparency and accountability in partner municipalities. Ambassador Bass spoke at the closing ceremony of the Third National Mayors Conference, sponsored by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The October 1 to 4 Mayors Conference gathered mayors and deputy municipal advisory board heads from 33 provincial municipalities.  Eight district directors from Kabul Municipality and the Executive Committee of the newly established National Network of Afghan Women in Urban Governance (NAWUG) were also present. Conference participants also included staff from the office of the IDLG Director General, the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities, and SHAHAR. During the event, the mayors presented their achievements, challenges, and recommendations in improving governance and service delivery in their municipalities.

Abdul Baqi Popal, Deputy Minister of Municipalities said, “Adequate revenue is the foundation of good governance, because it makes it possible to hire more qualified staff, provide the infrastructure necessary to support economic development and job creation, and increase citizen satisfaction and confidence in the legitimacy of municipal government.”

Humaira Saqib, Head of the Executive and Steering Committees of NAWUG, added, “The history of other countries has demonstrated that nothing will foster government transparency and responsiveness, improve service delivery, promote economic development, and achieve stability and security more quickly than the full engagement of women in civic affairs.”


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