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Canada announces new projects to empower Afghan women

AT-KABUL: Canada has announced new projects on Wednesday to improve lives of Afghan girls and women.

According to a press release issued here, the Canadian Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced funding for seven new projects to improve child protection and health services, as well as to empower women and girls in Afghanistan.

“Empowering women and girls is essential for Afghanistan’s development. While significant progress has been achieved, Afghan women and girls continue to face widespread discrimination, human rights abuses and major barriers to participating in the economy. By working with our partners, we can help eliminate some of these barriers to ensure a better future for women and girls in Afghanistan,” she said.

Wednesday’s announcement follows through on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment of $465 million in security and development support to Afghanistan until 2020, announced at the NATO summit in July 2016.

Over the next five years, Canada will allocate almost $40 million to six Canadian, international and Afghan partners to implement the seven projects as part of its “Women’s and Girls’ Rights First” approach to Afghanistan.

Results from these initiatives will include increased access to services available to survivors of gender-based violence, such as health services, legal aid and psychological support; increased opportunities for women to enter the workforce by providing them with the skills and business training they need; improved protection of children; and more safe learning environments.

Today’s announcement follows through on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment of $465 million in security and development support to Afghanistan until 2020, announced at the NATO summit in July 2016. It also reaffirms—ahead of tomorrow’s main event at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan—Canada’s commitment to help Afghanistan reach its development goals.

The seven new projects are: strengthening Afghanistan’s future through empowerment; her voice, her action; economic and social empowerment of Afghan women; cultivating the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan; women’s enterprise, advocacy and training program; enhancing protection for Afghan children; and family health houses.

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