April 22, 2008 11:11 ET

Minister Oda Concludes Trip to Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today concluded a three-day trip to Afghanistan. Her visit will serve to inform the work of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan as Canada enters a new phase of engagement with the country - one with a more targeted focus on reconstruction and development in Kandahar.

"Over the past few days, I have met with Afghan government officials, the donor community and Canadians working in the challenging environment that is Afghanistan," said Minister Oda. "This visit has been valuable in gathering information that will assist our government's work in achieving increased focus, coordination and effectiveness in supporting the Afghan people."

During the trip, Minister Oda delivered a keynote address at an international aid conference that brought together donors from around the world. In her address, she stressed the importance of improved donor coordination to maximize results on the ground and improve Afghan leadership on reconstruction and development efforts in the country.

Minister Oda also participated in a successful round of meetings with Afghan officials, including: Afghanistan's Minister of Education, His Excellency Haneef Atmar; Minister of Water and Power, His Excellency Al-Haj Mohammed Ismail Khan; Governor of Kandahar Province, Mr. Asadullah Khalid; and Deputy Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Mr. Asif Rahimi. During each of these meetings, Minister Oda re-iterated Canada's commitment to making its international development assistance to Afghanistan more focused, effective and accountable to demonstrate greater results.

In addition, Minister Oda met with several partners at Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team, including UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and local non-governmental organizations, to discuss initiatives in critical areas such as health, education and water supply. She also attended the inauguration of a Literacy Department in Kandahar City, where she met with a group of literacy teachers and students.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Joanna Bailey
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office