The Government of Canada Releases its Seventh Quarterly Report on Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan

(No. 105 - March 17, 2010 - 4:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan, announced the tabling today of the Government of Canada’s seventh quarterly report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, covering the period from October 1 to December 31, 2009.

“This quarter, Canada provided mine risk education to over 40,000 Kandaharis, for a cumulative total of over 220,000,” said Minister Cannon. “With the completion of training programs this quarter, we also provided literacy training to 23,500 Kandaharis, and vocational training to over 4,150 Kandaharis to date.”

While Canada’s role in Afghanistan is most often associated with its continuing work in the southern province of Kandahar, the impact of Canadian initiatives extends beyond provincial boundaries.

“Canadian funding helped the World Food Programme provide over 95,500 tonnes of food nationally,” said Minister Cannon. “We also contributed to the extension of microfinance loans nationally through the Microfinance Investment Support Facility, and exceeded our 2011 target for Kandahar.”

Other highlights for this quarter include:

  • Canada completed two more schools, for a total of 14, with another 28 under construction.
  • 197 teachers were trained, for a cumulative total of 341.
  • 47 health care workers were trained, for a cumulative total of 731.
  • A second Afghan National Army (ANA) kandak (battalion) reached capability milestone 1, and is fully capable of planning, executing and sustaining near-autonomous operations.

Canada continues to support efforts toward fighting corruption in Afghanistan. This quarter, a legal training course covering issues relating to the Afghan constitution and laws, human rights, and anti-corruption, was provided to Afghan National Police (ANP) prosecutors and defence counsels.

Canada is in Afghanistan with over 60 other nations and international organizations, at the request of the Afghan government and as part of a UN-mandated, NATO-led mission. Canada is in Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild their country as a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society.

The seventh quarterly report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan is available at: Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan, Report to Parliament, October 1 to December 31, 2009.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874