Government of Canada Publishes Ninth Quarterly Report on Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan

(No. 308 - September 22, 2010 - 4:10 p.m.) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan, today released the Government of Canada’s ninth quarterly report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan. This report covers the period from April 1 to June 30, 2010, and highlights Canada’s efforts to increase the Government of Afghanistan’s capacity to deliver basic services to Afghans.

“We should be proud of the contributions made by the Canadian Forces and Canadian civilians working to achieve progress in Afghanistan,” said Minister Cannon. “Every advancement is significant to the lives of Afghans, particularly given the complex and challenging environment in which positive changes are taking place.”

In this quarter, Canada achieved two more of its 2011 targets. To date, 574 square kilometres of land have been released to Afghans as free of mines and remnants of war. Canada also met its target for the completion of planned infrastructure projects. The two remaining infrastructure projects were completed at Sarpoza Prison, such as repairs to security infrastructure and refurbishment of prisoner quarters, in keeping with international standards and best practices. Improved infrastructure, as well as Canada’s efforts in training and mentoring Afghan corrections officials, are contributing to the improvement of law and order in Kandahar Province. Canada’s efforts at Sarpoza Prison are also seen as an example of progress.

Other achievements this quarter include:

  • Canada completed three more schools, for a total of 19, with another 24 under construction.
  • Over 52,000 cubic metres of silt were removed as part of the repair of the Dahla Dam and its irrigation system to provide a secure supply of irrigation water to Kandaharis.
  • More than 390,000 children in Kandahar province received polio vaccinations in each of two campaigns.

Advancements were also made in training and mentoring Afghan forces:

  • Basic training was provided to 87 Afghan National Police officers.
  • The Afghan National Army Junior Staff Officer Course graduated 47 students.
  • Another 45 students graduated from the Afghan National Customs Academy.
  • The new Afghan Border Police Faculty was inaugurated in June.

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.

The ninth quarterly report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan is available at: Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan, Report to Parliament, April 1 to June 30, 2010.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

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