I have been asked to reply.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, discussed international co-ordination of reconstruction and development assistance with president Karzai during his visit to the UK in October. They discussed the Afghan National Development strategy (ANDS), due to be published in March 2008, and agreed that this strategy will encourage greater donor co-ordination. In addition, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development also discussed this issue with president Karzai and other representatives of the Government of Afghanistan during their visits to Afghanistan earlier this year.
It is critical for Afghanistan’s future development that the donor community co-ordinates its assistance in support of Afghan Government priorities. Co-ordination of international assistance and improved effectiveness of aid is a major objective of DFID’s policy support to Afghanistan. This is why DFID Ministers and officials are regularly engaged in dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan on the development of the ANDS and the most appropriate way for the international community to support it. In recent weeks both the Afghan Minister of Education and the Deputy Minister of Finance have visited DFID and discussed this issue along with others.