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Civilian Stabilisation Capacity

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

I am pleased to announce that the stabilisation unit has now recruited over 1,000 high quality individuals with the right skills and experience to deploy and help rebuild countries emerging from conflict. They come from both the public and private sectors, including 200 civil servants. This delivers the commitment made by the Prime Minister last year in his launch of the national security strategy.

The stabilisation unit currently deploys 70 civilians and 35 police officers either in hostile environments such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and DRC, or on secondment to international peace-building missions such as Kosovo and Georgia. These trained and experienced individuals are making a valuable contribution to improving security, governance and promoting peace in countries affected by violent conflict. This has been most evident in Helmand province in Afghanistan where the unit’s ability to find high quality personnel willing to work in the forward operating bases has been a major factor in the success of the UK-led provincial reconstruction team in expanding the reach of the Government of Afghanistan to the majority of the population.

The creation of the 1,000 strong civilian stabilisation capacity will enable the unit to increase the number of civilians deployed at any one time up to 200 if required. The unit is also working with UK police forces in increasing the number of serving senior ranking police officers who are able to deploy.

This enhancement of the stabilisation unit’s capability is one of a number of ways in which DFID, FCO and MOD are strengthening the unit. It is also increasing its ability to support cross-Government planning and identify and disseminate lessons relating to conflict.