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Afghanistan: Helmand Province

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What is the Department for International Development’s advisory role with the United Kingdom military in Helmand province, referred to in the Department for International Development interim strategy for Afghanistan 2005-06; and how this role has developed in recent weeks. [HL6707]

DfID’s representative in Helmand is based in the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province. The PRT also contains representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the military and, arriving shortly, the British embassy drugs team. These four representatives work together as the Helmand executive group, which is responsible for the delivery of the UK joint plan for Helmand.

DfID leads in advising the civilian and military members of the Helmand PRT on the development implications of all interventions in the province. For example, the PRT supports a number of quick impact projects (QIPs) designed to demonstrate immediate progress to the people of the province and to help build a platform for longer-term activity. DfID’s advice helps maximise the developmental impact of these projects and ensures that they fit with national government priorities. The Helmand executive group jointly supervises identification, selection, implementation and monitoring of QIPs, which are funded from a range of departmental budgets.

In June, DfID increased the funding available for QIPs by £3 million, but the advisory role of the DfID representative remains the same.