Canada pledges continued aid to Afghanistan

Ottawa - The Honourable Susan Whelan, Minister for International Cooperation, today announced that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has renewed its commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan with the largest single country pledge ever made by CIDA.
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to announce that Canada has pledged $250 million in new aid to Afghanistan over the next two years, an amount which surpasses last year's commitment," said Minister Whelan. "This funding pledge clearly demonstrates Canada's ongoing commitment to the Afghan people."

This new funding will support four areas which have been identified by the Afghan Government as priorities. CIDA-supported programming will be focused in regions outside of Kabul and in sectors in which Canada has a demonstrated capacity and leadership. They are:

  • supporting rural livelihoods and social protection, which will include ongoing humanitarian assistance, improving food security and supporting community-driven development;

  • managing natural resources, with an emphasis on agriculture;

  • strengthening security and the rule of law through peacebuilding, legal and judicial reform, strengthening democracy and by becoming the lead donor on demining;

  • providing continued support to the Government of Afghanistan to help solidify its role in its own nation-building and reconstruction efforts.

"Canadians have been working side-by-side with Afghans for many years and with today's pledge, will have contributed more than $500 million to humanitarian aid and to long-term reconstruction since 1990," said Minister Whelan. "The situation will require our best collective efforts to support Afghans as they rebuild their country. Canada continues to make a very real difference to the people of Afghanistan."

The Government's pledge was tabled today by the Canadian delegation at the Afghanistan Development Forum taking place in Brussels. The Forum provides an opportunity for donors to pledge their support in light of the Afghan Government's current plans and priorities and long-term funding requirements.

The funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2003 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.


Valérie Poulin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for International Cooperation
Telephone: (819) 953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: (819) 953-6534