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U.S. Government Helps Modernize Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | JANUARY 21, 2012 – In the presence of Director of Institute of Diplomacy Hazrat Wahriz, USAID Deputy Mission Director Jed Barton, and other Afghan and U.S. Government officials, a newly constructed training facility was inaugurated today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. The new facility comprised of three classrooms, one multi-purpose room, and a reception area offers wireless internet and ample space for the training needs of young Afghan diplomats. The construction was part of USAID’s Afghanistan Foreign Affairs Institutional Reform (FAIR) Project aimed to enhance the capacity of Ministry officials and improve the functionality of Ministry’s headquarters. Afghanistan’s diplomatic service, traditionally a source of pride and strength to the country, suffered setbacks after decades of war.

“We are genuinely grateful for this assistance from the people of the United States to Afghanistan,” said Director of Institute of Diplomacy Hazrat Wahriz. “This new center will allow us to conduct more standardized training for our staff, including English language education.”

The $4 million USAID FAIR Project introduced a new entry orientation program for diplomats, a multilevel English training program and the automation of the Afghan Foreign Ministry’s financial management and administrative procedures, which have already led to faster issuance of visa and immigration documents. The project also reviewed and suggested improvements to Human Resource procedures and job descriptions, and resulting in the construction new library facilities for the Institute of Diplomacy.

“The U.S. Government is proud to provide the technical assistance, equipment and infrastructure that will facilitate the operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan for many years to come,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director at the inauguration ceremony.