HL Deb 22 April 2004 vol 660 cc53-4WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In which Afghan ministries they have provided training and capacity building; for how long, and with what results. [HL2422]

Baroness Amos

By providing training and capacity building to Afghan ministries DfID is helping to build an effective state, which can promote development and begin to reduce poverty. This year DfID will provide £45 million through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. which pays for civil service salaries, amongst other things. DfID also works directly with key Afghan ministries, delivering the technical assistance they need to help them to manage resources effectively.

DfID has helped build the policy capability and systems of the Central Bank and Ministry of Finance (£3.3 million from June 2002 to June 2005). DfID is supporting the Ministry of Finance to improve the national budget formulation process (£2.5 million over three years from November 2003). DfID is also providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance on customs reform to enhance domestic revenues (£3 million over three years).

DfID has supported the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (£700,000 from February to December 2002), focusing on the development of women's leadership and support to the Ministry for Women's Affairs. DfID has provided consultants to give technical assistance in the areas of policy/institutional development in the Ministry of Public Health (£180,000 January to March 2003). From September to December 2003 DfID provided technical assistance to help the Afghanistan Central Statistical Office (£80,000) in preparing a strategic plan for the statistical system of Afghanistan.

In September 2003 DfID began a three-year project (£2.1 million) to strengthen the capacity of the Ministries of Rural Rehabilitation, Development, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry to formulate agriculture and rural development policies and operational programmes.

DfID is providing £1.67 million worth of technical assistance to the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC). This contribution is part of a package to be delivered together with the World Bank for a period of three years from May 2004. This technical assistance will improve the capacity of the IARCSC to develop and manage a professional and accountable civil service across all government ministries.

DfID is also contributing £1 million-worth of technical assistance to the Cabinet Secretariat and the Office of the President. This technical assistance will help to rationalise decision-making at the centre of government, and is due to be provided over a period of 18 months from May 2004.

Through the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, DfID has helped to establish the office of the National Security Adviser and the Counter Narcotics Directorate within the National Security Council. The Ministry of Defence is helping to build the government's capacity to manage Afghanistan's own security by providing training to the Afghan National Army.

The increased capacity of Afghan ministries enables the Afghan Government to take the lead in the development process in their country. With the continuing support of the international community, government capacity to administer funds effectively is continuing to grow.