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Afghanistan

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will assess the (a) effectiveness, (b) consistency and (c) social and economic impact of provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan. (98013)

There is no single model for the structure and activities of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. This is largely due to the number of different nationalities involved in managing PRTs: there are currently 24 PRTs (25 as of 9 November when Turkey establishes itself in Wardak) involving 25 nations. Since the concept began in 2002, there has been limited strategic guidance from the Government of Afghanistan or the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as to the role or mandate of PRTs and individual nations have interpreted approaches independently. However, the recent expansion of ISAF has brought a considerable improvement in coherence and consistency, and regular PRT workshops have proven useful ways to share best practice and learn lessons.

In July 2005 DFID commissioned the King’s Fund to conduct a review of the UK’s involvement in Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. This review involved field visits to the PRTs in Bamyan, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif, as well as extensive interviews in Kabul and Bagram Airbase. The review concluded that the sheer number of PRTs operating in Afghanistan made it hard to form a single conclusion on their effectiveness or impact. The review highlighted the variation in national interpretation, of the PRT mandate, with significant differentials in PRTs’ approaches to development, funding allocations, and combinations of civilian and military personnel. The Kings Fund highlighted that PRTs naturally adopt a different emphasis from each other, shaped by the political environment and the PRT internal institutional context.

ISAF has recently prepared a PRT Handbook which is undergoing final revision and has worked hard to enhance consistency across PRTs in future. We have contacted ISAF to find whether a broader assessment has been made on the social and economic impact of PRTs nationally. No such data is currently available.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) development projects and (b) non-governmental organisations activities the Department has ceased to fund since 2002 in Afghanistan. (98016)

The following table identifies projects funded by DFID in Afghanistan since 2002 that are now complete. Beside each project, there is list of project implementing partners, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Whether programmes or projects are directed through NGOs, the Government or multilateral, DFID funding contributions have come to an end when the programme/project reached completion stage as specified in the project contract.

Projects funded by DFID in Afghanistan since 2002 that are now complete, including NGOs

Project title

Purpose

Implementing partners—including NGOs

International Financial Institutions arrears clearance

To clear arrears with the International Financial Institutions incurred by the Afghan Government, in order to allow them to access further loans from these institutions

World Bank

Ministry of Finance/Central Bank Enhanced economic and financial management in Afghanistan

To help build the capacity and systems of the Ministry of Finance and Central bank for enhanced economic and financial management in Afghanistan

Ministry of Finance

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Fund

Support to the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency for the Afghanistan Investment Guarantee Facility (AIGF)

World Bank

Procurement Support for the AACA

Procurement support for the Afghanistan Authority for the co-ordination of Assistance (ACCA)

Afghanistan Authority for the Co-ordination of Assistance (Govt)

Bridging support for Tax Administration in Afghanistan

To provide bridging support for tax administration to the Afghan Transitional Government

Ministry of Finance

Budget Support to the Ministry of Health

Enhance the delivery of health services in Afghanistan by providing direct funding to the Ministry to enable it to begin managing its own resources and understanding the difficulties of resource allocation and budgeting

Ministry of Health

Support to Customs in Afghanistan

To provide four experienced customs officers to support the present Afghan customs advisers to implement manual customs cargo processing systems at Kabul airport and Kabul customs house

Ministry of Finance

Support to Statistical Office

The purpose of this mission is to assist the Central Statistical Office (CSO) in preparing a Strategy Plan for the whole statistical system in Afghanistan

Central Statistic Office

Counter Narcotics Trust Fund Budget

To set out a clear framework and to establish a Counter Narcotics Public Investment Programme (CN PIP) within the Government of Afghanistan’s Core Development Budget process for expenditure on Counter-Narcotics including through the Counter-Narcotics Trust Fund (CNTF)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

IMF/WB Technical Assistance

To participate in an IMF/World Bank mission which scope the technical assistance requirements of the Afghan Central Bank

World Bank

Accelerating Budget Execution

To kick-start the mechanisms for the acceleration of the execution of the non-salary operating budget in Afghan provinces

Ministry of Finance

Public Expenditure Review

Support the World Bank Public expenditure review through provision of an expert who will conduct a Security Sector Public Expenditure Review

World Bank

Budget Process Adviser

The primary objective is to assist the Ministry of Finance in doing a gap analysis of the budget process with particular emphasis on budget preparation and execution

Ministry of Finance

Voter Registration

To support the UNDP voter registration process in Afghanistan

UNDP

Support to 2004 Afghan Elections

To support the planning and implementation of elections in Afghanistan

UNDP

Support to Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Elections

Support to UNDP and Afghan Civil Society Forum in their efforts to provide civic education for September 2005 elections

UNDP

Civic Education for Voter Registration Project

To support Swiss Peace in their efforts to provide civic education in preparation for the elections

Swiss Peace

Constitutional Review process

To develop a new constitution for Afghanistan

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Constitutional Study

To identify the key issues underpinning Afghanistan’s constitutional and political development and to identify key policy options for the Afghan Transitional Administration and other members of the international community

UNAMA

DFID Support to Provincial Reconstruction Teams

To improve security in Afghanistan and to provide development assistance in the regions

UK Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Election monitoring

To improve the electoral process by monitoring it closely and making an independent assessment of the first presidential election of Afghanistan

Free and Fair Elections Foundation for Afghanistan (FEFA)

Ministerial Salaries

To design a system to ensure ATA ministers are paid salaries and expenses in a timely manner

Crown Agents/Ministry of Finance

Ministerial Expenses Support

To support the accommodation, security, travel and hospitality of Cabinet Ministers

Crown Agents/Ministry of Finance

Support to OAA and IARCSC

To provide interim capacity building support to the Office of Administrative Affairs and the Independent Administrative Reform Civil Service Commission in Afghanistan

Adam Smith Institute

Support to Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Elections

Support to UNDP and Afghan Civil Society Forum in their efforts to provide civic education for September2005 elections

UNDP and Afghan Civil Society Forum

Support to election register

To provide support to the UNDP plan to carry out election registration in Afghanistan

UNDP

Badakhshan, Integrated Rural Rehabilitation to Improve Livelihoods and Curb Poppy Cultivation

To provide support for sustainable economic and social incentives to make food production and off farm employment an attractive alternative to opium cultivation. The program is part of AKF’s larger integrated food security and social development strategy for Badakhshan

Aga Khan

Food security and health in poor rural settlements in Badakhshan, Konar and Ghor

To improve inter-district road access, strengthen local development management capacity, improve capacity, improve crop production and livestock health, improve mother and child health and raise awareness of gender and child rights

AfghanAid

Improving access to primary education in western Afghanistan

To reconstruct and rehabilitate primary schools. To provide accommodation for 16,200 children (over 50 per cent. girls) and employment opportunities for 300 teachers and 10 headmasters and the provision of stationery and textbooks

Ockenden International

Rehabilitation of Agriculture systems in Badakshan

To re-establish and strengthen food production capacity for reducing the poverty and vulnerability of farming communities affected by complex disasters over the last 20 years of the Afghan conflict

Aga Khan

ACTED—Rehabilitation of livelihoods in conflict affected areas, Kabul and Baghlan provinces

The rehabilitation of essential water supply and transport services, supporting the re-establishment of returnees by providing starter kits for housing construction and work opportunities for local people

ACTED

Afghanistan drought relief interventions and ongoing rehabilitation

To provide improved food security and living conditions for 12,600 vulnerable families of Takhar and Badakhshan provinces, and emergency winter shelter and assistance for 4,000 in East Kunduz and West Takhar provinces

TEARFUND

Relief to vulnerable families, Herat and Badghis

To meet the short-term humanitarian needs and address the medium-term livelihood needs of conflict and drought affected families in four districts of Badghis and Herat provinces

Christian Aid

Okenden International—Emergency Relief Assistance to IDPs in Badghis

To provide immediate relief to displaced families in Kushk-e-Kuna and ala Murghan through the supply of appropriate and targeted relief materials and foodstuffs

Okenden International

Vulnerable Family Food Assistance and Livelihood Restoration Programme

To provide 22,780 drought affected and vulnerable families with 50 kg of wheat per family per month over five months

Christian Aid

Solidarities-Seeds and Fertilizers’ Distribution to returnees of Bamyan Province

To increase agricultural production, to stabilise the returnees and initiate sustainable development through (1) helping 6,800 families of returnees from Bamyan and Saighan districts settle again by starting agricultural activities and (2) improving the yields obtained by farmers usually cultivating spring wheat through introduction of improved wheat seeds

Solidarities (NGO)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) staff and (b) funds his Department have committed to Helmand Province and Kandahar Province. (98905)

As part of the original UK Joint Plan for Helmand, DFID deployed one development adviser to work alongside other UK Government Departments in Helmand. In January 2007, DFID will fund and take responsibility for the quick impact project manager.

DFID has committed £4 million this financial year to the UK Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP) funding allocation of £6.5 million for the delivery of quick impact projects (QIPS) in Helmand.

DFID has also funded the £30 million Helmand Agricultural Rural Development Programme (HARDP) which will run for three years.

Some of DFID’s other livelihoods programmes operate in Helmand. 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.

We have not committed any funds specifically to Kandahar. A development adviser has been recruited to be based in Kandahar for 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1887W, on Afghanistan, how many staff from his Department are based in Helmand Province to oversee the spending of the £37 million referred to; and what auditing procedures are in place to ensure value for money and transparency. (99041)

The UK Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP) (referred to in answer, Official Report, column 1887W to which DFID has committed £4 million) is managed by the Helmand Executive Group, consisting of members of four UK Government Departments, with financial accountability resting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK has deployed a Quick Impact Project Manager to Helmand to manage the GCPP financial systems on behalf of all Government Departments. DFID has deployed one Development Adviser to work alongside other Government Departments in Helmand province.

The £30 million committed to the Helmand Agricultural Rural Development Programme (HARDP) is implemented by the Government of Afghanistan. This is an important way of strengthening Government systems and building effective state institutions that will be able to continue to meet Afghanistan's development needs. This is managed by the three-person Livelihoods Team in Kabul, who work closely with the Ministry of Reconstruction and Rural Development (MRRD) and the Ministry of Finance in Kabul to ensure proper implementation. In the delivery of HARDP all procurement for services is undertaken by the Ministry of Reconstruction and Rural Development (MRRD) using recently adopted Government of Afghanistan procedures, which are based on World Bank procurement best practice. MRRD is responsible for identification, selection and appointment of Facilitating Partners. This is carried out through a competitive bidding process.

DFID funds are channelled through Crown Agents Financial Services Limited (CAFSL). The Ministry of Finance and MRRD will be required to provide annual audited statements by the Government of Afghanistan Auditor General, with copies to DFID. This will provide assurance that the funds are transferred for the purposes specified in the agreement with the Government of Afghanistan. The existing National Priority Programmes were set up following international accounting and auditing procedures, and there are oversight mechanisms already in place which will provide adequate reassurance that fiduciary risks are being managed.

Referring to the £3 million funding to the Research into Alternative Livelihoods Fund (RALF), this is similarly managed by DFID Afghanistan. Lead agencies implementing projects under RALF (i.e. Mercy Corps implementing the Restorative Agriculture and Rural Economy (RARE) Research Project in Helmand) account to the International Centre for Agriculture and Rural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) on utilisation of project funds. ICARDA account for utilisation of programme funds (including funds allocated to individual projects) to DFID, reporting on a six monthly basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1887W, on Afghanistan, how many of the projects cited (a) have been completed, (b) are currently under way and (c) are yet to be undertaken. (99042)

Referring to the answer of 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1887W, on Afghanistan, 12 projects have been completed, 40 are currently on-going and 7 are committed but yet to be undertaken.

The number of projects has increased to 59 since the answer of the 25 October.