Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 23, 2011 15:31 ET

Government Reports on Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence, today tabled the Government of Canada's thirteenth quarterly report on Canada's engagement in Afghanistan.

"Canadians working in Afghanistan continue to serve the interests of peace, progress and prosperity with dedication and distinction," said Minister MacKay. "We have transitioned our role in Afghanistan to one which focuses on the longer term development of the country and further allows Afghans themselves to shape their own future."

The report covers the period from April 1 to June 30, 2011. It outlines progress achieved on Canada's six priorities and three signature projects in Afghanistan. It also provides a near-final look at the status of Canada's benchmarks and targets that were announced by the Government of Canada in 2008.

Building on contributions in Afghanistan to date, over the next three years Canada will focus on investing in the future of Afghan children and youth through development programming in education and health; the advancement of security, human rights, and the rule of law; the provision of up to 950 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel to train Afghan security forces; the promotion of regional diplomacy; and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. More than 40 Canadian civilian police officers (CIVPOL) in Afghanistan are also training, mentoring and advising Afghan National Police (ANP) members to advance institutional reform and capacity building.

"Our goal is to transition the Afghan National Security Forces towards assuming responsibility for Afghanistan's security by 2014. Canada's ultimate goal continues to be to help Afghans rebuild Afghanistan into a better governed, prosperous and secure country that is no longer a safe haven for terrorists," said Minister MacKay.

Achievements over the past quarter include:

  • The Afghan National Army (ANA) grew by 11,000 soldiers and as of June 30, 2011 totalled 171,000 personnel - all six of the Kandahar-based ANA kandaks had an effective strength of 70% or higher indicating a new target achieved.
  • The majority of operations in the Canadian Area of Responsibility (AOR) were conducted as partnered operations. ANA Commanders have begun to act more independently, and the ANA as a result executed 65% (or higher) of the security operations in the CF AOR this quarter.
  • An additional 755 ANP members in key districts completed Focused District Development (FDD) training. There are currently 3,532 ANP operating in key districts, 3,235 of which, or 92%, have received FDD training.
  • By the end of this period, Canada had surpassed all benchmarks and targets for Kandahar's policing sector, including 19 infrastructure projects, surpassing the 2008-2011 established target of 15, and 28 infrastructure upgrades, also surpassing a target of 15.
  • Canada's education signature project to build, expand or repair 50 schools in Kandahar province made further progress with the completion of three more schools. Forty-four schools are now finished, and work continues on the remaining six.
  • Canada's signature project to eradicate polio also advanced in this quarter, with an estimated 369,700 children vaccinated in Kandahar-89 percent of the target.
  • For the Dahla Dam signature project, this quarter marked the beginning of the wet season, when water is released from the dam to fill the canal system. Project activities focused on agriculture, capacity building, and physical rehabilitation work outside the canal system. Wheat and barley crops were harvested at Tarnak Farms, where the project has installed irrigation systems.

The thirteenth quarterly report on Canada's engagement in Afghanistan is available at www.afghanistan.gc.ca.

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