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Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the budget of his Department’s provincial reconstruction team in Helmand province has been in each year since 2002; how much has been spent in each year; which organisations have managed the projects undertaken; what monitoring, impact assessments and evaluations have been undertaken in respect of each project in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. (245774)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK took responsibility for Helmand province through the establishment of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in 2006. The PRT combines the efforts of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Department for International Development (DFID) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a comprehensive approach to development. Accordingly, the PRT delivers reconstruction and development projects from a tri-departmental budget managed jointly by FCO, DFID and MOD. £7.04 million was spent in 2006-07 and £9.99 million in 2007-08 from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP). To date, £14.08 million (of a Stabilisation Aid Fund budget of £34.41 million) has been spent in 2008-09. Prior to the establishment of the PRT in 2006, there was no specific allocation of funding to Helmand province.

The tri-departmental funding facilitates a range of projects in Counter Narcotics, Rule of Law, Strategic Communications, Governance, Political activities and Area Based Stabilisation. These projects are administered in Lashkar Gah or London, dependent on the implementing agent. Projects are managed through a range of partners including the Afghan Government, local community organisations, international or local non-governmental organisations or external contractors. Programmes are reviewed and updated monthly by an official in the embassy in Kabul and the PRT in Lashkar Gah. Projects are evaluated at six-monthly intervals.

In addition to this tri-departmental budget, the FCO, DFID and MOD also have individual budget allocations. From its bilateral programme fund, the FCO spent £17,000 in 2007-08 on Helmand specific projects.