July 25, 2011 12:00 ET

Minister Oda Reiterates Canada's Support to South Sudan

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN--(Marketwire - July 25, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, visited the newly independent Republic of South Sudan to assess how Canada can best support its development into a lawful, prosperous and democratic country.

This is the first visit by a Canadian minister to South Sudan since independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011. Minister Oda conveyed Canada's congratulations to South Sudan on a successful referendum and its newly established independence.

"The visit has provided me with the opportunity to gain a firm understanding of the many complex political and development issues facing South Sudan in this rapidly evolving context," said Minister Oda. "Canada will work with the Government of South Sudan in fostering political reconciliation to ensure stability and continued evolution toward a strong, secure and healthy democracy."

While in Juba, Minister Oda met with the H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, to emphasize Canada's ongoing commitment to the country. She also met with senior ministers such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Alor, and the Minister of Health, Dr. Luka Tombekana Monoja.

"This visit provided me with the opportunity to discuss CIDA's future engagement in South Sudan, as well as the current response to the development challenges it will face as it builds its future," said Minister Oda. "I also learned more about the new government's strategies and plans to raise the people in South Sudan out of poverty."

In addition to productive meetings with various development partners, the Minister also met with key humanitarian partners, including both United Nations and non-governmental organizations, such as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, World Food Programme, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Committee of the Red Cross, Save the Children, Oxfam and World Vision.

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