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Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the cost of running the provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gar was in each of the last five years; (209681)

(2) what the objectives are of the provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gar; how many personnel the team has; and what the team's performance against its objectives has been over the last five years.

[holding answer 9 June 2008]: I am not able to provide figures for the cost of running the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) because we estimate that to locate, retrieve and extract such information would involve disproportionate cost. The UK employs a broad range of staff in support of the government of Afghanistan to help develop a stable and secure Afghanistan. Over 100 civilian staff in Kabul and over 40 staff in Helmand are employed from across the Government, including the Stabilisation Unit, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Afghanistan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit. Their roles include work in governance, stabilisation, reconstruction and development, security sector reform and counter narcotics.

The PRT in Helmand is focused on developing Afghan local capacity in development, security and governance, and is helping administer over £36 million the UK plans to spend towards the province's reconstruction this financial year. Since the UK took over the PRT in May 2006 we have seen early progress on these three fronts, with PRT officials delivering valuable assistance in a challenging environment. Since May 2006, the PRT has implemented 247 quick-impact projects valued at £18 million. This has supported a number of building projects (including schools, parks and police stations), police training and women's rights projects. DFID has also committed £10 million per year over three years (2006-09) to support the government of Afghanistan's long-term development programmes in Helmand.