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UK to send Haiti 'stabilisation' force

Prisons in Haiti are being rebuilt by British construction experts forming part of a new aid network put together by the Government.

The ‘Civilian Stabilisation Group’ consists of more than a thousand professionals from the UK who are ready to travel to countries emerging from crisis or conflict.

Assisting with building local institutions to law enforcement, they will deploy with less than 24 hours notice and help bring about stabilisation and reconstruction.

Civilian efforts in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo and Sudan will be boosted. While in Haiti, the government is being helped to rebuild prisons and identify priority needs to the World Bank.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:”The new Civilian Stabilisation Group will combine the skills and energy of people both inside and outside government - helping bring the stability and humanitarian assistance that is urgently needed, but also hope for the future through reconstruction and development.”

Sheelagh Stewart, head of the group, said: “The unit is the Government’s centre of expertise and best practice in stabilisation, responding to the complex challenges of fragile and conflict-afflicted states.

“This is about getting the right people to fragile countries fast enough to reduce threats to their stability.”

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