Afghanistan officially joined the United Nations on 19 November 1946 as the Kingdom of Afghanistan.
As one of the UN's earliest members, Afghanistan has contributed to the work of the world body, including through its diverse and unique culture.
There are currently 24 UN agencies, funds and programmes in the UN Country Team, of which 20 are located in Afghanistan. The UN Country Team’s overall vision and work are detailed in the One UN for Afghanistan framework.
As part of the UN assistance to the Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, $20 million worth of essential medical supplies and equipment were procured and delivered; 12 Covid-19 testing sites were established within a few months.
From January to end of June 2020, despite nationwide measures of lockdown and movement restrictions due to Covid-19, UN reached 4.5 million beneficiaries across all its programming in Afghanistan, distributed 65,900 metric tons of food and disbursed USD 7.7 million in cash-based transfers to help cover families’ food needs.
The UN’s support to the Government and civil society contributed to the finalisation and promulgation, through Presidential Decree, of the Law on Child Protection and the Government’s endorsement of policies to enhance women’s rights on inheritance and property ownership.
With technical advice from the UN, the Government developed Afghanistan’s first Biennial Update Report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), detailing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and identifying ways to reduce its contribution to climate change.
Over 5.3 million Afghan refugees have returned home since 2002. The UN is supporting the Government’s effort with regards to their return and sustainable reintegration. In 2019 alone, nearly one million people (returnees, IDPs, and host community members) were given improved access to basic services through a whole-of-community approach.
The UN supports the Government’s vision on education as set out in the National Education Strategic Plan (2017 – 2021). The number of primary school students has jumped from just over one million in 2002 to over 9.6 million to date, though an estimated 3.5 million children remain out-of-school.