Skip to main content

Afghanistan

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

14. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress his Department is making towards reconstruction in Afghanistan. (96583)

Between 2001 and March 2006 DFID spent over £390 million on reconstruction and development in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is DFID’s fifth largest programme and we are Afghanistan’s second largest bilateral donor, spending over £100 million in 2005-06. We are focusing on: building effective state institutions; improving economic management and improving rural livelihoods. The best way to do this is by supporting Afghans themselves—which is why over 70 per cent. of our aid goes directly to the Government of Afghanistan. Afghanistan remains one of the UK’s top priorities and we have provided valuable support to the Government who have made great progress over the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2006, Official Report, column 1152W, on Afghanistan, what projects his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) financially supported in Helmand Province. (96359)

DFID undertakes livelihoods projects, preferring to work through the Government of Afghanistan where possible. This support is essential to strengthen Government systems and build effective state institutions that will be able to continue to meet Afghanistan's development needs.

In Helmand, DFID supports a number of livelihood programmes. I announced a £30 million Helmand Agriculture and Rural Development Programme earlier this year. This programme aims to increase economic opportunities for the rural poor of Helmand by supporting the Government of Afghanistan in the roll-out of existing successful National Programmes in Helmand. These programmes will provide improved water and sanitation, essential small-scale rural infrastructure, greater access to small loans, improved roads and access to markets and agricultural inputs and training to the people of Helmand. Priority preliminary tasks have been undertaken: i.e. sites for road and well building have been identified; engineering surveys conducted; and the Government procurement process started. This programme will construct 200 wells in and around Lashkar Gah city by end March 2007, and 49km of road will be under construction by then. Should the security situation allow, we also expect to build a further 490 wells in four districts in central Helmand by end March 2007.

Through the £3 million DFID-funded Research into Alternative Livelihoods Fund (RALF), the Restorative Agriculture and Rural Economy Research Project, implemented by Mercy Corps, is working on export feasibility of grapes, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplants and okra, and has made strong contacts with raisin importers (organic and fair-trade). The programme is evaluating at least 10 different small-scale agri-processing industries, and producing case studies of enterprises that prove to have value added. For example tomato paste. In addition the programme has introduced a simple technology for the production of mint as a herbal remedy.

DFID has committed £4 million to the UK Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP) funding allocation of £6.5 million for the delivery of quick impact projects (QIPS) in Helmand to get short-term development results and help build a platform for longer-term activities. From the total allocation, half has been committed and all will be spent by March 2007. To date, nearly fifty such projects have been funded and implemented. These funds have provided humanitarian assistance to victims of the drought, constructed permanent vehicle checkpoints to improve security, improved security around the shrine in Gereshk, reinforced the river bank walls and provided flood defences for the Bowlan bridge. A full list of UK funded QIPs under the four broad sub-headings (Reconstruction and Development, Security, Governance, and Counter Narcotics) is attached.

Supporting Documentation: Summary of Quick Impact Projects in Helmand Province

ProjectValue (USD)

Reconstruction and Development

Sayed Tajdar Shrine: Wall and gate construction

21,224

Sayed Tajdar Shrine: Road and footpath construction

3,076

Improvement of Friday Market and Gabion wall

140,623

Improvement of Friday Market (Cha-i-Anjeer)

24,950

Emergency food distribution

3,400

Gabion Extension

34,108

Support to Office of the Governor to respond to needs of Internally Displaced People

60,000

Support to Radio Stations

150,000

Weir on Helmand River

153,147

Silt removal from Helmand River

259,479

Extension of Gabion walls on Helmand River

168,045

Ulema Shura Ramadan Food

6,867

Lashkar Gar Hospital Mortuary

50,000

Bost Hospital Generator

60,000

Womens Centre improvements

30,000

Kartelegan and Toortank day care centres

80,000

Ulema Shura Eid Support

1,900

Womens Centre ISAF badges

750

Security

Permanent Vehicle Check Points (PVCPs)

21,387

Afghan National Police Outposts

480,000

Afghan National Army Platoon House

45,000

Afghan National Army Outposts

158,756

4 Permanent Vehicle Check Points (PVCPs)

155,000

4 Enhanced Permanent Vehicle Check Points (PVCPs)

110,000

12 Permanent Vehicle Check Points (PVCPs) for Geresk

600,000

New PSCC

150,000

Governance

Media Training

486,900

Radio Transmitter

122,400

Helmand Governor - Armoured Car

126,684

3,000 uniforms for 1,500 police

30,000

GPS for the chief of police

150

ID card making facility (ANP)

25,000

Generators for the Governor

170,000

Wall for the office of the prosecutor

10,000

Support to the Office of the Governor

35,000

Tribal Liaison Office, District Reports

155,708

Rehabilitate Printing Press

45,000

Counter Narcotics

Windmill Wells

10,640

Vehicles for Counter Narcotics Police Authority

72,080

Counter-narcotics PI campaign

279,939

Communications equipment for the Counter Narcotics Police Afghanistan

10,000

PA Systems for 12 District Centres

3,000

Counter Narcotics Tractor Repairs

12,000

Counter Narcotics Tractor Ploughs

30,000

Total

4,592,213