PESHAWAR: Despite the many challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNDP’s Amn-o-Insaf (AOI) Program has been able to achieve its outputs and make significant progress in 2020.
The program supports both the supply and demand sides of rule of law. This is made possible by strengthening justice institutions and citizen rights as well as deepening ongoing efforts to secure peace and stability in the country. The same was highlighted by the UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Ms Aliona Niculita in her welcome remarks at AOI’s Annual Progress Review Board (PRB) Meeting held virtually on Wednesday.
Co-chaired by Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shakeel Qadir Khan and UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Aliona Niculita, the PRB was attended by representatives from KP Home Department, KP Police, Prosecution Department, Economic Affairs Division, KP Bar Council and donors including Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Government of Japan.
Shakeel Qadir Khan welcomed the participants and said that rule of law in the development sector is a new area for international assistance and the UNDP AOI is the flag bearer to attract more international support in the area, says a press release.
“In the past three years, I have seen UNDP AOI make major strides. What makes this program unique is that it is a good blend of soft activities with infrastructural support,” he highlighted while mentioning the importance of the sector to Government of KP and stressing on the significance of development efforts in the merged areas. He also offered the support of Planning and Development Department to take the work further.
UNDP AOI Manager Jakhongir Khaydarov delivered a detailed presentation and highlighted areas of success for the program during 2020. He mentioned that UNDP will be supporting PHC to establish 14 virtual courts in KP and MAs. Among achievements, digitization of case file record has been completed and the next phase is also anticipated, and UNDP has provided necessary institutional support to courts in MAs for their functionality.
Throughout this year, AOI has been working on the capacity building of judges and courts staff, which will continue next year as well.
In spite of the restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, 6731 persons, including 2204 women were made aware of their legal rights through legal awareness campaigns in MAs with the support of KP Bar Council and Civil Society Organization partner. The program provided law libraries and bar room furniture to three bar associations in districts of the MAs namely Khyber, Mohmand and Bajaur and digitized KA Bar Council’s record room.
Jakhongir further highlighted that 100% of the original construction work at the Joint Police Training Center Nowshera under the INL Pakistan funding has been completed and savings of $1.6 million that occurred are being used to build additional facilities. This is expected to be completed in 2021.
Looking forward to 2020, another successful year for UNDP and AOI, Jakhongir said that in addition to completion of several ongoing projects, five Model Police Stations will be constructed in the MAs with support from Government of Japan and support KP Police in training of 500 MAs police personal. Moreover, four training centres to eradicate poppy cultivation will be constructed in KP and MAs with funding from Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Aliona Niculita appreciated the support of partners and said this meeting has given a great opportunity to identify gaps on where to direct additional efforts. The meeting successfully concluded with a vote of thanks.