The majority of UK support for health in Afghanistan occurs through contributions to the Afghan Government’s budget. Since 2002, the Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed £360 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARTF). The ARTF is managed by the World Bank and reimburses proven Government expenditure on operating costs including on health. DFID will provide a further £165 million to the ARTF to 2012-13 which will cover 14 per cent. of the Government’s recurrent costs in health.
Since 2003 DFID has also invested £32 million in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), which funds small-scale projects selected by communities all across Afghanistan. The NSP has funded the construction of over 100 health projects nationwide.
Construction of individual health clinics in Helmand is undertaken by the UK-led Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), to which DFID contributes staff and funding. In the last six months, the PRT has constructed or refurbished four health centres in Helmand province. Last year, the Bost hospital in Lashkar Gah received approximately £800,000 for a new maternity clinic and college. This would not have been possible under the Taliban.