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Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid by the UK Government to Afghan (a) provincial governors, (b) police chiefs and (c) other officials in each of the last four years; and what the purpose was of the payments. (107207)

I have been asked to reply.

The wages of Afghanistan’s provincial governors and Government officials are paid by the Afghan Government (GoA) from its core budget. The GoA’s core budget is part-funded by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) established in 2002 to provide for the recurrent costs of Government. The UK is the largest contributor to the ARTF, committing £355 million between 2002 and 2009; £235 million of that commitment has been disbursed. The UK also contributes funds to the GoA through a number of ongoing projects aimed at building capacity in the Afghan Government.

Police chiefs salaries are covered by the Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA) established in 2002 at the request of the Afghan Government and the UN and administered by the UN Development Programme. The UK remains a major contributor to LOTFA both through the European Commission, whose annual contribution to the fund since 2002 has been around €30 million, and bilaterally, contributing £1.5 million in financial year 2006-07.