International Development Committee Announcement

The International Development Committee visited Afghanistan from 25 October to 1 November 2007.
The key meetings were as follows:

Thursday 25 October

Arrive in Kabul

Security briefing

Friday 26 October

Briefing from DFID-Afghanistan officials

Meetings at ISAF HQ including with General Garry Robison, Deputy Commander (Stability) ISAF

Meeting with NGOs: Afghanaid, Aga Khan Foundation, Agency Co-ordinating Body for Afghanistan Relief (ACBAR), Asia Foundation, Mercy Corps and Oxfam,

Barnett Rubin, Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Center on International Co-operation, New York University

Working dinner with ISAF Commander, donor country ambassadors and UN representatives

Saturday 27 October

Briefing from British Embassy Kabul staff

Meeting with Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit

Visit to Ariana Financial Services microfinance project and discussions with clients

Visit to mint-processing project

Meeting with Country Manager, World Bank and other officials

Dinner with international partners (Asian Development Bank, European Commission, UN, USAID, World Bank; German, Dutch and Indian development agencies)

Sunday 28 October

Breakfast meeting with women National Assembly members and public officials:

€ Hangama Anwari, Commissioner, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

€ Shukrai Barakzai, Member of the National Assembly

€ Fawzia Koofi, Member of the National Assembly

€ Qudriya Parsat, Member of the National Assembly

€ Zohra Rasekh, Director of Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

€ Momina Yari, Commissioner, Independent Electoral Commission

Meeting with General Dan McNeill, Commander, ISAF

Meeting with Jelani Popal, Director General of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance

Working lunch with Ministers and officials:

€ Mr Atmar, Minister of Education

€ Mr Khodaidad, Minister of Counter-Narcotics

€ Mr Ramin, Minister of Agriculture

€ Dr Mastoor, Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance

€ Rahela Siddiqi, Senior Adviser, Civil Service Commission

Meeting with Tom Koenigs, UN Special Representative and other UN officials

Meeting with Adib Farhadi, Director, Afghanistan National Development Strategy Secretariat

The Committee divided into two groups for visits to Helmand and Balkh provinces

Group 1: Helmand

Monday 29 October

Briefing from Head of Provincial Reconstruction Team and Commander of Helmand Taskforce

Briefing from Deputy Helmand Co-ordinator

Meeting with Governor Wafa

Meeting with Provincial Council

Meeting with representatives of line Ministries in Helmand

Tuesday 30 October

Visits to development projects, including a school, a midwifery training centre, a hospital and water projects.

Group 2: Balkh

Monday 29 October

Visit to Langar Khana Khord district to meet Community Development Councils (CDC) and discuss development projects

Visit to Takhta Pul village to meet Community Development Council and discuss water supply project.

Visit to Drug Rehabilitation Clinic in Mazar-e-Sharif

Working dinner with Provincial Reconstruction Team Swedish and Finnish representatives and USAID

Tuesday 30 October

Visit to HALO Trust project to observe weapons clearance and discuss demining

Meeting with Balkh Provincial Council

Meeting and working lunch with Governor Atta

Visit to FINCA microfinance project and discussion with clients

Both parties return to Kabul

Wednesday 31 October (Kabul)

Visit to school. Discussions with Executive Director, National Solidarity Programme, local CDC members and school pupils.

Visit to Community Centre to meet local CDC

Meeting with President Karzai

Working lunch with Ashraf Garni, former Finance Minister and Chairman of the Institute of State Effectiveness

Meeting with Ambassador of Pakistan

Meeting with National Youth Parliament

Thursday 1 November

Depart Afghanistan