Page last updated at 00:12 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

UK to launch international reconstruction group

A woman and her child camp near their former home in Port-au-Prince
UK professionals will help to rebuild countries hit by disaster, such as Haiti

Some 1,000 UK professionals are to be deployed around the world to rebuild countries hit by conflict or disaster.

The civilian stabilisation group, which will be launched later, will bring reconstruction expertise in areas from law enforcement to construction.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the civilians would provide "hope for the future through reconstruction and development" for those hit by crises.

Construction experts will help rebuild prisons in earthquake-hit Haiti.

A prison building expert and a project manager are being deployed to help re-establish the basic functioning of at least three prisons over a period of up to six months.

Specialist selection

And civilian experts are being deployed to help the Haitian government in its efforts to help the World Bank identify priority needs.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake which hit Haiti in January killed more than 200,000 people and left more than one million people in need of aid.

It is hoped that the civilian stabilisation group will bolster the work of the Department for International Development, Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in their work around the world.

The group will comprise experts in governance, rule of law, economic recovery and security sector reform, among other fields.

Deployed with less than 24 hours notice, the group will be expected to boost the civilian effort in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Kosovo, Georgia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The prime minister 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."

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