Afghanistan

Afghanistan: EU and Italy support the rehabilitation of provincial and district offices in Herat province

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The Italian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) has received a EUR 500,000 grant from the European Union (EU) and the Government of Italy (Ministry of Defence) to rehabilitate the Herat provincial and district offices which suffered from more than two decades of conflict.

The funding, EUR 400,000 and EUR 100,000 from the EU and Italy respectively, has been made available within the European Commission (EC)'s Support to Provincial Governance (SPG) programme, administered by International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The initiative addresses the critical need of the Afghan authorities in Herat to strengthen their administrative capacity, in line with the national and provincial reconstruction priorities. The whole western region was severely affected by conflict and the consequent destruction of infrastructure and on-going insecurity. The lack of qualified and capable civil servants in most departments is seriously hampering the delivery of essential services to the community. In this context, the initiative seeks to rehabilitate offices of five selected departments and districts and provide them with necessary office equipment. In coordination with the Afghan Civil Service Commission, training will also be conducted for provincial and district civil servants in information technology, project development and fund-raising.

EU and Italy earlier provided funding for another initiative designed to build a Female Correctional Centre in Herat. The implementation of this initiative, which will provide a rehabilitation facility for female detainees and their children in accordance with international human rights standards, commenced in June and construction work is well underway.

The existing centre is overcrowded with only five rooms and no sanitary facilities. With the construction of the new building, the centre will be able to accommodate various needs of detainees such as the elderly and lactating mothers.

The provision of the second grant in the province of Herat has confirmed once again the strong commitment of the EU and the Government of Italy to support the reconstruction and capacity building efforts of the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan.

The EU funds the SPG programme, which aims to help the Afghan government strengthen the capacity of provincial security related governance institutions and the provincial political dialog thereof. Moreover projects are carried out to support the provincial councils and law enforcement agencies such as the police, judiciary and prison bodies. The programme adheres to the Provincial Development Plans as the Governmental priorities. It is implemented through the PRTs and their

implementing partners, and is designed to provide support to the civilian activities of the PRTs, which are led or supported by EU Member States.

IOM administers the SPG programme by facilitating project implementation cycle. This includes information sharing, needs assessment, applications review, contracting, funds disbursement and monitoring. All approved projects are implemented in line with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).

EC Background

The European Commission has been engaged with the reconstruction of Afghanistan since 2001 and had by end 2006 committed the €1 billion aid pledged for Afghanistan in Berlin and Tokyo donor conferences for the period 2002-06. More than 80% of the total €1 billion has already been disbursed, demonstrating that the European Commission is not only strongly committed to Afghanistan, but fulfilling its commitments efficiently. The European Commission pledged another €610 million to continue supporting the Afghanistan reconstruction during the years 2007-2010, concentrating on the priority areas of Governance, Health and Rural development.

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union (EU). The European Commission and the 27 Member States of the European Union have pledged together a €3,7 billion in aid to Afghanistan over five years (2002-2006), more than one third of the aid pledged by the international community. At the London Conference in spring 2006, the EU pledged collectively a further €2 billion for reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan over the coming years.

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For further Information please contact:

Enira Krdzalic
IOM Program Manager ekrdzalic@iom.int Mobile 0700 275 910

Fayaz Siddiqi
EC Kabul Media Advisor and Analyst, fayaz.siddiqi@ec.europa.eu Mobile 0799 88 05 05

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