August 25, 2007 16:30 ET

Canada Bolsters its Development Commitment to Kandahar Province

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 25, 2007) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced today that Canada will substantially boost its development commitment to the Afghan province of Kandahar by providing $45 million in support of five key projects targeting health and community development. Minister Oda made this announcement today while taking part in Afghanistan Independence Day Celebrations in Toronto. The new projects build on major funding announced in February 2007 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to accelerate the reconstruction and development process.

"Canada's new government is proud to stand beside the Afghan people as they strive to build better lives for themselves and secure a better future for their children," said Minister Oda. "Today's contribution will build on previous successes by supporting projects aiming to enhance health services and community development in Kandahar, one of the provinces in greatest need of our assistance."

Canada's strategy in Kandahar province focuses on responding to basic human needs, strengthening livelihoods, and increasing the capacity of local government. The funding announced today will be allocated as follows:

- $17.5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help implement a national polio eradication initiative and a tuberculosis control program;

- $10 million to the National Solidarity Program to build on the substantial results achieved to date in the areas of local governance and community development;

- $5 million to the Kandahar Local Initiatives Program, which will support
small-scale, quick-action development and reconstruction initiatives that respond to immediate needs;

- $10 million to UNICEF to help improve access to maternal and child health services in the southern region, with a focus on Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar City; and,

- $2.5 million for a rapid-response health intervention fund for local NGOs and institutions in Kandahar.

The $45 million announced today is part of Canada's total contribution of more than $1 billion over 10 years aimed at governance, security and reconstruction in Afghanistan. For more information, please refer to CIDA's website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)