Securing Communal HLP rights in Afghan Cities | Land Portal

Geographical focus

Related categories


The proposed action deploys a community-based approach to address HLP needs in Kabul and Herat. The two cities have large numbers of vulnerable people requiring HLP assistance: according to the 2022 HNO, out of a total of 6 million people in HLP need around 1.6 million are in Kabul and Herat. Many of those in need are IDPs and returnees that live in extremely challenging conditions in urban informal settlements. According to REACH’s 2021 survey of informal IDP and returnee settlements, nearly 80 per cent are located in urban and peri-urban areas. Pervasive insecure HLP rights have resulted in frequent threats of eviction for these communities, and constrained humanitarian investments in lifesaving shelter and WASH, because neither communities nor humanitarian agencies can make long-term investments in the absence of secure HLP rights.
The fall of the government has brought challenges and opportunities to securing HLP rights that this action directly responds to. A key challenge is that many legal frameworks that support individual ownership, such as the 2018 Land Management Law, are uncertain given the power transition that has occurred. A key opportunity is that many of the impediments to securing HLP rights were associated with the former government, including a reluctance to provide urban land to vulnerable groups and rather allocate it to well-connected individuals
To respond to the current context, challenges and opportunities, the proposed project will utilize a community-centered approach to strengthening HLP rights in urban informal IDP and returnee settlements where insecure property rights have resulted in historic threats of eviction and barriers to humanitarian investment. In this way, the following activities will be implemented:
1. Communal land claims of 50,000 IDPs and returnees living in informal settlements in Kabul and Herat are documented and mapped maps are endorsed by Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies
2 Community-based settlement plans are developed for 6 informal settlements in Kabul and Herat and their priority humanitarian investments to upgrade communal infrastructure are actioned settlement plans and investments are endorsed by Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies
3 Coordination with community organizations and humanitarian agencies to extend shelter, infrastructure and service investments in informal settlements through development of a strategic plan.
The three results will result in the projects key outcome: strengthened communal HLP rights for displaced people. First, documenting the socioeconomic aspects and mapping the spatial attributes of settlements, in coordination with Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies increases the legitimacy of informal settlements, hence strengthening their communal HLP rights. Developing a new settlement plan and implementing priority investments identified by the community consolidates informal settlements, strengthening communal HLP rights, as well as providing lifesaving essential services (e.g. drainage) to those most in need.