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Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what assessment the Government have made of the overall funds required by Afghanistan for (a) a programme for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants as referred to in the Department's parliamentary briefing paper on Afghanistan of July and (b) reconstruction in (i) the provincial regions and (ii) urban areas. [127039]

Japan is the lead nation on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR). In conjunction with the Afghan Transitional Administration and the International Community, Japan has set up the Afghanistan's New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) to implement demobilisation and reintegration programmes as part of security sector reforms. ANBP is a three-year programme estimated to cost $127 million, with an initial budget for the first year of $33 million.At the recent Tokyo Conference on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, more than $50 million was pledged by international donors. This is a good start. However, we must keep working on securing financing throughout the process. DFID, working closely with FCO and MOD, are also funding a Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration expert, who has been seconded to the UN in Kabul, to assist with Security Sector Reform.The Afghanistan Transitional Administration has produced an integrated development plan in the National Development Budget. This covers all reconstruction plans in the provincial regions and urban areas as put forward by the Afghanistan Transitional Administration. Donors have pledged nearly $1.7 billion dollars for 2003–04 for Afghanistan, nearly 90 per cent. of what the Afghanistan Transitional Administration has requested.