July 9, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada is investing an additional $18 million to combat the trade in narcotics in Afghanistan.
This counter-narcotics contribution is in addition to yesterday’s announcement by Canada of $227 million in development assistance to Afghanistan. This development assistance will be given over three years, starting in 2015.
“Our government wants to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorists,” said Baird. “To this end, Canada is supporting the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to combat the country’s illegal drug trade.”
The funding announced today comes from the Afghanistan Counter-Narcotics Program, which supports projects that endeavour to reduce the cultivation, production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs, primarily heroin.
“We expect Afghan leaders to uphold their commitment to protecting the basic rights of all Afghans, including women and religious minorities. The Government of Afghanistan must demonstrate significantly improved accountability and transparency,” said Baird. “True prosperity and progress will require greater safety and security on the ground.”
Some $3.5 million will be used in joint programming with the Government of Japan for law-enforcement capacity-building programming. Japan has matched Canada’s contribution, for a total of $7 million.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent announcement of long-term funding for Afghanistan’s post-2014 development included a commitment to train Afghanistan’s security forces until they become fully responsible for Afghanistan’s security. The funding announced today will build on that contribution.
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