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Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made a recent estimate of the (a) direct and (b) indirect contribution of his Department and its staff to the economy of Afghanistan. (305469)

The effort in Afghanistan is cross-departmental, with the bulk of the UK's efforts supporting the economy coming from the Department for International Development (DFID). However, one of the greatest needs for the Afghan economy is stability. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) efforts across Afghanistan and wider region, supporting stability will therefore have the greatest indirect impact on the Afghan economy, although it is not possible to measure this contribution.

There are a number of projects, procurement and salaries in the local economy which have a direct impact on the local economy. Local purchases amounted to £6.8 million in 2008, much of which will have fed directly back to the Afghan economy. Local staff salaries were an additional £549,000. Spending in 2009 is likely to be similar. In addition, the FCO supports numerous programmes which support activity in Afghanistan. This financial year (2009-10) the total budget for non-DFID civilian programmes in Afghanistan is £88.4 million. Of this, it is predicted that £54.1 million is administered with the promotion of economic development and welfare—officially Overseas Development Authority—spend. This does not include DFID spending.