19 October 2009

Response from Kabul about Schools, Hospitals and Mosques

Response from Kabul about Schools, Hospitals and Mosques

Relating to my blog dated 6 October 2009 (see below for links), I have had this response from Mike Hollis, who is Programme and Strategy Co-ordinator, Department for International Development in the British Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"The answers are:

Education: In the last six months, the UK has refurbished five schools in Helmand province. We also funded the refurbishment of training infrastructure and a teacher training centre in Kandahar province in 2002.

Health: In the last six months, the UK has constructed or refurbished four health centres in Helmand province. Last year, the Bost hospital in Lashkar Gah received approximately £800,000 for a new maternity clinic and college that would not have been possible under the Taliban.

Mosques: In the last six months, the UK has completed three mosques in Helmand province.

The vast majority of our support for health and education is not through direct construction but rather support to the Afghan Government budget. Since 2002, the Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed £360m to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARTF). The ARTF is managed by the World Bank and reimburses proven government expenditure on operating costs. The ARTF helps pay the salaries of 320,000 civil servants, including health workers and teachers. A further £165m to the ARTF to 2012/13 will cover 14% of the Government’s recurrent costs in health and education. More information about the ARTF is available at www.worldbank.org/artf

DFID has since 2003 also invested £32m in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), which has established over 22,000 elected Community Development Councils across Afghanistan. Through these councils, 47,000 projects have been chosen by local people to improve health, education, water and roads. More information about NSP is available at http://www.nspafghanistan.org/"

My links to the two earlier blogs: