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Afghanistan: Roads

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the Government’s (a) current and (b) anticipated contribution to road building and maintenance in Afghanistan is by (i) cost and (ii) manpower in each of the next three years; and whether UK armed forces will be involved on this work. (263431)

On 3 March, I announced a £50 million increase in funding to Afghanistan, including £32 million for infrastructure projects in Helmand.

The UK currently supports the construction and maintenance of roads through the infrastructure component of the Afghan Government’s Helmand Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (HARDP). The Department for International Development (DFID) contributes £30 million to support HARDP (2006-07 to 2008-09).

These programmes are delivered by the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in close co-ordination with the International Security Assistance Forces (which include UK forces) and Afghan military forces.

The design phase for DFID’s continued support to rural development in Helmand is under way, including an impact assessment of infrastructure projects completed under HARDP. Until this assessment is completed we cannot predict what shape future support to the infrastructure sector will take.

DFID has four staff involved with the infrastructure elements of HARDP programming.