Canada announces $18m to curb Afghan drug trade
This counter-narcotic contribution is in addition to Canada’s $227 million development aid to Afghanistan that would be given over three years -- starting in 2015.
“Our government wants to ensure Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorists. Canada is supporting the government of Afghanistan to combat the country’s illegal drug trade,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
A Canadian embassy statement in Kabul said the funding announced on Tuesday comes from the Afghanistan Counter-Narcotics Program, which supports projects 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,” he added.
Some $3.5 million would be used in joint programme with the government of Japan for law-enforcement capacity-building projects. Japan has matched Canada’s contribution, for a total of $7 million, said the statement.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced the long-term funding for Afghanistan’s post-2014 development, including a commitment to train Afghan’s security forces until they are fully responsible for their country’s security.
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