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An introduction from Afghanistan

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Afghanistan's national flag
Afghanistan's national flag

Afghanistan is in the news in the UK every day.  But the media approaches Afghanistan from a select few angles, and development - improving the lives of Afghans through jobs, education and better health - isn’t often one of them.  Not only that, but I didn’t know many other people who had lived, worked and seen the daily realities here before I came and experienced them for myself, and I imagine most people reading this will be in the same position.

Map of Afghanistan, courtesy of FCO

I’ve been in DFID for four years and before I came to Afghanistan I was living in London and working on conflict prevention – trying to stop conflict before it begins, to help countries avoid the kind of situation Afghanistan finds itself in.  After three years in our East Kilbride and London offices it was time to get myself overseas and work at the sharp end of DFID’s business.

I’ve been in DFID Afghanistan for five months now, first based in Kabul working as Helmand Coordinator, and now as DFID Representative in Helmand in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, which you hear about so often in the news.

With Lashkar Gah children on a newly built road
With Lashkar Gah children on a newly built road

You probably think I’ve got a screw loose to be here, given the bad news you constantly receive about southern Afghanistan.  But I think I’ve got the best job in DFID.  I hope I can explain why – all the ups as well as the inevitable downs – through this blog.  And I hope I can shed a little light on a life that I suppose is unusual by any standards.

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  1. Comment by Mike Foster MP posted on

    Vicky, as the new Minister for International Development can I thank you for the invaluable work you are doing in Afghanistan. In my first three days of this new job I have seen the remarkable statistics of how the lives of people in Afghanistan have been changed for the better. Keep up the good work, which I will be following on your blog.

    Mike Foster MP
    Minister for International Development

  2. Comment by Tertia Bailey posted on

    I am researching for an author, Patrick Bishop, who is writing a second book on Afghanistan (his first one was 3 para) which will attempt to describe the reality on the ground in Helmand. I am trying to lay my hands on a copy of the Helmand Road Map, and on any evaluation reports of the impact of DFID and the Stablisation Unit in Helmand. There does not seem to be much available online. Could you point me in the direction of the best source of information in this area.
    Many thanks
    Tertia Bailey

  3. Comment by Vicky posted on

    Tertia, many thanks for your enquiry.

    I understand you are already in touch with our team in DFID headquarters, who are happy to provide whatever information they can.


  4. Comment by will Taylor posted on

    I am researching my MA Dissertation, and I too am trying to track down a copy of the Helmand Roadmap. I am particularly interested in the UK position on the Afghan electoral process, linkages between local democracy (village shuras), regional/provincial government and central government,


  5. Comment by Tommy posted on

    So is the pipelines still getting built through afgan or has it taken place already?