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Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many reconstruction projects have been undertaken in Helmand province over the last five years; and where these have taken place. (150023)

Through the national solidarity programme, the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) have approved 697 reconstruction projects in Helmand of which 250 have been completed. These have taken place in Lashkar Gah, Nahr-e-Saraj, Kajki, Musa Qala, Baghran, Now Zad, Washer, Nad Ali, Nawa-i-Barakzai, Dishu, Garmsir, Sangin and Reg. Through DFID's support to GoA's rural water and sanitation programme, 229 wells to provide clean drinking water in Helmand have been completed. These are located in Lashkar Gah, Nahr-e-Saraj, Nawa and Nad Ali. Work is also being undertaken on 50 kilometres of DFID-funded roads in Lashkar Gah.

Since April 2006, the UK has funded 150 quick impact projects through the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) based in Lashkar Gah. Of these, 81 were reconstruction projects and 52 have been completed. These have taken place in Lashkar Gah, Gereshk, Sangin, Garmsir, Musa Qala and Nahr-e-Saraj.

In addition to this, the United States Government through USAID have completed 75 projects through their alternative livelihoods programme over the last two years in Helmand. These projects have covered every district in Helmand except for Dishu.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many reconstruction projects undertaken in Helmand province over the last five years have been destroyed or delayed due to fighting. (150024)

Over the past 30 years, infrastructure in Afghanistan, including Helmand province, has sustained substantial damage due to conflict, and neglect resulting from the collapse of governmental institutions. Since the UK assumed the lead of the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in April 2006, the security situation has not been suitably permissive to allow either the PRT or provincial authorities to undertake a full battle damage assessment, encompassing destroyed or delayed projects, across Helmand.

The PRT works closely with the provincial authorities to undertake consultations with communities across the province to enable them to compile a provincial development plan (PDP) that will address the reconstruction and development needs of Helmand. The civilian and military elements within the PRT are working in close partnership to minimise the future risk of damage to infrastructure and non-combatants.