HC Deb 16 October 2002 vol 390 c869W
Mr. Purchase

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of the assistance pledged for Afghanistan at Tokyo in January has been provided; and if she will make a statement. [74947]

Clare Short

At the Tokyo conference in January 2002, bilateral and multilateral donors pledged a total of $4.5 billion (about £2.9 billion) over five years, for both reconstruction and continuing humanitarian needs. The UK pledge was £200 million (about $285 million) over 5 years. Of the $1.8 billion pledged at Tokyo for 2002, the UN estimate that just over $1.3 billion (60 per cent.) has so far been disbursed. Humanitarian appeals are currently funded at between 75 per cent. and 90 per cent. for the larger UN agencies; however, initial estimates contained in the UN Immediate and Transitional Assistance Programme document are now widely perceived to be an underestimate, as needs are likely to increase with the coming winter.

I have increased our commitment from £1.8 million to £55 million this financial year for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Afghanistan. Of this amount, about £21.5 million has already been disbursed, mainly through UN agencies, the Red Cross and NGOs, for humanitarian and early recovery assistance. We have also channelled £10 million through the World Bank's Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. Of the additional £15 million recently made available for this financial year, £11 million will help meet immediate needs, including support for the ongoing refugee return programme and humanitarian requirements throughout the forthcoming winter. I have also placed a Briefing on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan in the Library of the House.