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Afghanistan: Schools

Volume 501: debated on Thursday 26 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many schools in Afghanistan have been funded by his Department in each year since 2001. (301523)

The majority of UK support for education in Afghanistan occurs through contributions to the Afghan Government 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 education. We 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 education.

Since 2003 DFID has also invested £32 million in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). This funds small-scale projects selected by communities all across Afghanistan, including the construction of almost 6,000 education projects nationwide.

DFID funded the refurbishment of training infrastructure and a teacher training centre in Kandahar province in 2002. UK support to construct schools in Helmand is, however, normally undertaken by the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), to which DFID contributes staff and funding. In the last six months, the PRT has refurbished five schools in Helmand.