Language training requirements for staff working in Afghanistan are kept under regular review. We work to balance cost-effectiveness of training with the need to support high-quality diplomatic engagement in country. For many jobs in-country, such as those which require little or no contact with Afghans outside the embassy, no local language skills are necessary. It is more cost effective to employ locally-recruited Afghan staff in many positions which require local language skills.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently has six UK based officers with a relevant language proficiency deployed in Afghanistan, five with Dari and one with Pashtu. We employ locally-recruited Afghan staff in many positions which require local language skills. For example, where we need to engage in Helmand Province at high levels, we will always use one of our 10 qualified locally engaged Pashtu interpreters to ensure that both sides fully understand the issues being discussed. In Kabul there are 66 Afghan staff working alongside staff from the UK, in Lashkar Gah 18 and in Helmand’s district centres a further 11 who between them all speak Dari and Pashtu.