November 16, 2007 12:45 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Canadian University to Deliver Development Aid Projects

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2007) - Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan - St.Paul, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, almost $2 million in funding to the University of Manitoba for two development projects, one aiming to improve livelihood in Bangladesh and a second project to improve health in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in West China.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with the University of Manitoba on these projects, which will contribute to the protection of a critical ecological zone in Bangladesh and improved public health in China," said Minister Oda. "By supporting these projects, we contribute to improving the quality of life of communities in Bangladesh and to tackling global health issues, such as HIV/AIDS."

"The people of Manitoba and all Canadians should be proud of the difference our academic experts are making in the world by sharing their knowledge and skills," said Joy Smith. "These projects will allow Canadians to help Bangladeshis manage their environment and to help public health workers raise awareness about the risk of HIV and AIDS in the province of Sichuan."

"We look forward to sharing the University of Manitoba's global expertise and experience in HIV research, prevention and control, and to continue to learn through our association with the Sichuan University," said Dr. James Blanchard, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.

"In order to help Bangladesh, we are going to work with the communities on how they can simultaneously improve their livelihood and sustain the environment and local resources," said Dr. Emdad Haque, Director of the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba.

The funding will be used to create and provide environmental resource management training and to conduct research, public education and policy assessment in Bangladesh. The project will focus on fostering environmentally sustainable economic development. In China, the funding will be used for outreach materials and training programs aimed at educating street youth about HIV and AIDS.

Support for both projects has been provided through the Canadian International Development Agency under the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program (UPCD), administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. For more information, please see attached backgrounder.



The Government of Canada today announced two new projects with the University of Manitoba, one in support of environmental development in Bangladesh and a second project in West China to improve the ability of local health authorities to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The projects are funded by the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada administers the projects on CIDA's behalf.

The Bangladesh project has received close to $ 1 million for an original, groundbreaking initiative that will unite environmental protection, micro-credit, and good governance into one powerful tool for sustainable development. The resources and knowledge of universities in Canada and Bangladesh will be combined with that of non-governmental agencies and local governments to generate community-based economic growth partnered with environmental protection activities.

Poor, marginalized rural women in 15 villages will be encouraged through existing micro-credit programs to establish 'green' micro-businesses such as fruit tree plantations and fishponds. These will provide new, sustainable sources of food and income, as well as protection for species all along the food chain. The new entrepreneurs stand to gain an improved quality of life for themselves and their families, as well as increased stature in their villages and a stronger voice in community affairs.

The Environmental Management Project will be a showcase for similar projects that could go beyond Bangladesh. By the time it is complete, 3,000 poor villagers will have participated. Through them, the project will indirectly benefit an estimated 70,000 people.

The second project, for $998,000, is with the Western China School of Public Health located in the city of Chengdu, capital of the province of Sichuan. This project will provide Canadian expertise to work with the School of Public Health to strengthen its capacity for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Western China School of Public Health provides public health training for all of the province of Sichuan.

The project will greatly strengthen the ability of these centres to cope with HIV/AIDS. Local public health staff will receive extensive hands-on, field-based training through the School's outreach program to improve their capacity to deliver both prevention programs to the healthy, and support services to people who have contracted the disease.

The training will include techniques to alert and mobilize local people to address the risks of HIV/AIDS. The University of Manitoba anticipates that the project could have a spill-over effect into neighbouring provinces and their schools of public health, thus contributing to global security by tackling the rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in China.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Veronique Bruneau
    Press Secretary
    Joel Oosterman
    Parliamentary Assistant
    Joy Smith, MP
    Kildonan - St. Paul
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)