Skip to main content

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Survey Monitoring Target Verification project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10; and how much it received from his Department in each such year. (310153)

The Survey Monitoring, Target and Verification (SMTV) Project provides timely and accurate data to support the Government of Afghanistan's implementation of the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy, through surveying and monitoring poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and verifying poppy eradication. It also provides advice and technical training to the UN Office for Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) annual Opium Surveys. As the UNODC's capability has grown and as poppy cultivation has contracted, the scope of SMTV's work has changed, focusing more on the fewer high cultivation provinces resulting in a reduced funding requirement.

The funding the project received was as follows:

Financial year

£

2006-07

2,598,000

2007-08

2,492,965

2008-09

1,682,918

2009-10

1,411,059

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10; and how much it received from his Department in each such year. (310154)

The UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Project supports the publication of the UNODC's annual report on poppy cultivation. This report provides reliable, independent data on the extent of poppy cultivation and poppy eradication in Afghanistan, informing counter narcotics policy.

The funding the project has received has been:

Financial year

£

2006-07

1,021,300

2006-07

1,021,300

2007-08

450,000

2008-09

300,000

2009-10

200,000

Funding for the project has reduced as other international partners (primarily the US and Norway) increased their financial support for the project.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Counter Narcotics Research and Analysis project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10; and how much it received from his Department in each such year. (310155)

The Counter Narcotics Research Programme provides the analytical basis for the UK's Counter Narcotics (CN) policy and aids its implementation. In ensuring a rigorous evidence base, monitoring and evaluation for CN, the programme contributes to the UK's effort to reduce the harm of the drugs trade to Afghanistan. A key product encompassing this information is the UK's annual Drivers Report that provides in-depth analysis of the factors that affect a farmers’ decision to plant poppy or other crops. It continues to directly improve the knowledge base of farmers planting decisions in Afghanistan, informing UK policy and lobbying decisions on CN in Afghanistan.

Funding for the programme has been: financial year 2007-08—£241,631; financial year 2008-09—£243,401; and a budget for financial year 2009-10 of £296,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Eradication Support project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and how much it received from his Department in each such year. (310156)

The Eradication Support project, supports the Government of Afghanistan in conducting eradication. Eradication is one of the eight pillars of the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy. It provides information to ensure that eradication can be targeted on land belonging to major drugs traffickers and in areas where farmers have access to sustainable alternatives to poppy. Funding received by the project was as follows:

Financial year

£

2006-07

1,672,000

2007-08

598,000

2008-09

285,656

2009-10

517,205

There were reductions following the first year as capital costs were only necessary for the first year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Extend Afghan Media Content project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and how much it received from his Department in each such year. (310159)

The purpose of the Extend Afghan Media Content project is to support the development of an independent media, which is essential to undermining the insurgency and increasing the credibility of the Afghan Government and the international community. The decision to fund was taken because the project supports UK Afghan strategy on strategic communications.

The project received £150,000 in financial year 2006-07, its first year, and subsequently received £3.49 million in 2007-08, £362,000 in 2008-09 and £485,000 in 2009-10. The amount of funding has fluctuated, because this project is a “bundle” of media programming items, which have evolved over time as strategic priorities changed. In some years, there was a higher outlay for media content due to start-up costs. The project is meeting its programme goals, and is contributing to UK strategic objectives. It has not yet been completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Lashkar Gah Prison Build project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in 2008-09; and how much it received from his Department in that year. (310160)

The objective of the Lashkar Gah Prison Build project is the establishment of a prison in Lashkar Gah, Helmand, that meets international minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners. Secure and humanitarian prison facilities are an important part of building a trusted criminal justice system. In addition to the construction of new prison facilities, the project includes a programme of operational training for prison staff, with a focus on human right awareness and humane prisoner management. The project received £790,000 in its first year (2007-08), £623,813 in 2008-09, and £762,164 in 2009-10. The annual variation in funding reflects the high proportion of infrastructural costs paid for in 2007-08 and subsequent fluctuations in the year-on-year project costs.

We assess that this ongoing project is meeting its objectives. In October 2009, the project’s first phase was completed when prisoners moved into the newly constructed prison facilities. The project’s final phase, intended to further increase capacity, will continue throughout 2010-11. A final assessment will follow the project’s completion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Counter Narcotics Interdiction project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in 2009-10; and how much it has received from his Department in that year to date. (310161)

The Counter Narcotics Interdiction project mentors the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan in policing techniques, building technical capacity and developing the capability to disrupt key drugs networks. Funding for the project has been in FY 2006-07—£9,972,452; FY 2008-09—£15,778,000; FY 2009-10—£12,540,000.

Funding for this project has been adjusted during each year to meet the project’s necessary financial requirements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Political Activity (Elections) project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in 2009-10; and how much it has received from his Department in that year to date. (310162)

The purpose of the Elections project is to support Afghanistan’s electoral cycle in 2009 and 2010—strengthening Afghanistan’s electoral legislative framework, voter registration efforts, the capacity of the country’s Independent Election Commission including its commissioners, secretariat, departments and provincial and regional offices, and support to broader electoral stakeholders, for example, civic education, the media and domestic observation. The project was funded to build confidence in Afghanistan’s democratic institutions and provide a basis for sustainable government and democratic legitimacy, a core part of our stabilisation efforts. The project received £4.1 million in 2008-09, its first year, and subsequently received £200,000 in 2009-10. Funding reduced in the second year because the aim of the project was to enable pre-election activity (elections were held in August 2009). The project is meeting its programme goals and is contributing to UK strategic objectives through the delivery of the Afghan elections in 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 182W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Lashkar Gah District Stabilisation project is; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason its funding was reduced in 2009-10; and how much it has received from his Department in that year to date. (310165)

The purpose of the District Stabilisation project is to support the Government of Afghanistan in extending and exerting its authority in key districts, increasingly isolating the insurgency. The project was funded to provide stabilisation experts to work in the districts and to fund delivery of local programmes and projects. The stabilisation advisers help to mentor and coach the Afghan district governors so that they can extend their reach and authority. Local projects delivered through the district governor also demonstrated the Government’s ability to deliver whilst at the same time improving the lives of local people.

In financial year 2008-09, its first year, funding was distributed among the regions of the province as follows: Lashkar Gah £1.08 million, Musa Qala £2.92 million, Sangin £2 million, Garmsir £1.25 million. In 2009-10 the funding was distributed as follows: Lashkar Gah £1.14 million, Musa Qala £697,000, Sangin £792,00, Garmsir £513,000. The budget was reduced in Musa Qala, Sangin and Garmsir for a number of reasons. The 2008-09 budgets included a number of large infrastructure projects (such as road builds) which were completed in year and therefore not budgeted for in 2009-10. The projects are meeting their programme goals and are contributing to UK strategic objectives. The projects have not yet been completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Publicity Project was; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason his Department ceased to fund the programme in 2007-08; and what assessment has been made of its effectiveness. (310167)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Support for Afghan National Army—patrol vehicles project was; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason his Department ceased to fund the programme in 2007-08; and what assessment has been made of its effectiveness. (310168)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Drug Demand Reduction project was; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason his Department ceased to fund the programme in 2007-08; and what assessment has been made of its effectiveness. (310169)

The Drug Demand Reduction Project aimed to build capacity within the Afghan system to deal with the growing drug use problem and highlight the extent of that problem to Afghan policy makers and the Afghan public. Drug Demand Reduction is one of the eight pillars within the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy. The project received £760,000 in FY 2007-08. The project closed as the support was taken on by the US and integrated into their wider Drug Demand Reduction programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Helmand Police Drug Control project was; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason his Department ceased to fund the programme in 2008-09; and what assessment has been made of its effectiveness. (310171)

The Helmand Police Drug Control project was intended to provide drug education, detoxification and rehabilitation services to the Afghan National Police (ANP) in Helmand, and to make strategic recommendations on further reducing drug dependency within the ANP. We provided £500,000 in the project's only year (2008-09). This was a 12 month pilot project only intended for funding in 2008-09.

We assess that the project met its objectives. We have received positive feedback from international partners about the project. ANP drug-dependency reduction is now a programme under development between the Ministry of Interior and international partners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what the purpose of the Newsletters for Mullahs project was; for what reason his Department decided to fund the project; how much it received from his Department in its first year of operation; for what reason his Department ceased to fund the programme in 2008-09; and what assessment has been made of its effectiveness. (310172)

Local Mullahs in Helmand requested funding for the production of a newsletter to distribute to the literate members of the communities they lived in, to assist in countering the insurgent narrative in Helmand. The project was initially allocated £9,960 in financial year 2008-09, but the Mullahs did not take the project forward and so the budget was cut before the project started.