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Afghanistan: Civil Service

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funds are available to facilitate the training of the next generation of Afghan civil servants in the UK or the US; and how many individuals have participated in such a scheme. (182191)

The Government are funding a number of projects to train Afghan civil servants to develop the necessary skills to support a stable and functioning administration in Afghanistan. Some attend courses in the UK, although the majority receive training in Afghanistan. Programmes under way with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding include the following:

in 2005-06 the Chevening programme spent £83,156 on seven Chevening scholars from Afghanistan (two part-funded by co-sponsors), of whom at least three were civil servants. The FCO also spent approximately £100,000 funding five Chevening fellows of whom three were civil servants. In 2006-07 the FCO spent £148,402 funding 10 scholars (two part-funded by co-sponsors), of whom five were civil servants. In 2007-08 the FCO has committed £330,788 for 13 scholars (one part-funded), of whom six are civil servants;

in 2008 the joint FCO-Department for International Development-Ministry of Defence Stabilisation Aid Fund has proposed a programme for 20 Afghan civil servants at the UK National School for Government. The fund has provisionally allocated £176,000 for this and related follow-up activities; and

the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, led by the UK, has funded the pilot establishment of a civil service training centre in Lashkar Gah. £60,000 was provided for the first six-month period (August—February 2008) from the UK Quick Impact Projects Scheme, and 60 Afghan civil servants have so far received training there.

United States training is a matter for the authorities in the United States.