November 30, 2010 11:25 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Medicine and Medical Supplies for Afghanistan

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2010) - Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation (CIDA), highlighted the first phase of Health Partners International Canada's (HPIC) Capacity Building and Access to Medicines (CBAM) project, a five-year project that will provide Afghans with reliable access to medicine and medical supplies.

"It is incredible to see the progress we have made in Afghanistan. In 2000, only 9% of the population had access to primary health care, today that number is 66%. It is through projects like this one that Canada is best able to support the Government of Afghanistan in improving the lives of Afghans," said Minister Oda. "The impact of this project is key to building a stable future for Afghans, particularly women and children. They will receive needed medication and medical supplies and we will help build the capacity of the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to manage logistics of medicine and supplies."

In collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry and HPIC, Canada will help meet an important long term, strategic need of Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health. The CBAM project will identify medical needs, and improve the Afghan capacity to obtain, manage and distribute quality pharmaceutical products to the women and children of Afghanistan.

"HPIC and our partners are determined to support those in urgent need today and make a difference in the long term development of a sustainable supply chain of high quality medicines," said Glen Shepherd, President and CEO of HPIC. "In a country where one in four children die before reaching five, I have seen firsthand how this project will save and improve lives in Afghanistan. You simply cannot ask for a more powerful motivator than witnessing a dose of antibiotics save a child's life."

This first phase of the project is already helping to provide medication to treat acute asthma attacks, broad-spectrum IV antibiotics to treat complicated infections, local anaesthetics, medical supplies such as syringes, tracheotomy trays, gloves, sutures, catheters, and 4,800 litres of intravenous fluids.

Once complete, the Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project will deliver upwards of $25 million worth of pharmaceuticals to Afghans and will help foster relationships between Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations that currently support the pharmaceutical sector in Afghanistan.

The Government of Canada is investing $10 million dollars in this project.

For more information on the Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project visit and

Contact Information

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