Canada reaffirms support for Afghanistan
Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence Chris Alexander held out the pledge, while speaking on behalf of International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino.
"Canada has already contributed significantly to progress in Afghanistan, providing millions of children with access to education and assisting in the transfer of responsibility for security and governance to the Afghan government.
“However, we must continue working with the people of Afghanistan to build a better, brighter future for people in need," said Fantino. "Today's announcement reaffirms Canada's commitment to enhancing the well-being, security, and long-term prosperity of the Afghan people."
But Canada linked its development assistance to the performance of the Afghan government on reforms in areas such as strengthening the rights of women and girls, reduction of endemic corruption and upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
The investment is aimed at ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens, equal treatment for women and men and development opportunities that benefit all of Afghanistan's people.
"A primary focus of Canada's engagement in Afghanistan is the promotion of a better and more equitable future for women and girls," stressed Alexander, who said empowering girls and women was in the interests of Afghan families.
As head of the Canadian delegation, Alexander chaired a meeting bringing together key Afghan women leaders and senior members of the international community. Discussions focused on advancing the roles and rights of women and girls.
Canada will contribute an additional $227 million in development support to the Afghan people, with a targeted focus on the advancement of rights and participation of women and girls in Afghan society, between 2014 and 2017. This complements the initial $300 million committed for use between 2011 and 2014.
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