Backgrounder Article from  Global Affairs Canada

Announcement of projects in Afghanistan

As part of its Women’s and Girls’ Rights First approach to Afghanistan, Canada is allocating almost $40 million to seven new projects to improve child protection, provide health services and promote the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan over the next five years. 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.

Strengthening Afghanistan’s Future Through Empowerment

Funding: $5.95 million (2016 to 2019)
Partner: War Child Canada

War Child Canada is a Canada-based NGO that has been operating in Afghanistan for over 20 years. This project seeks to promote the empowerment of Afghan women through grassroots strategies and increase the capacity of local organizations to protect the rights of women and children through a number of initiatives, including offering training and grants to implement protection projects and working with relevant ministries to increase awareness. This project will also help to provide critical health, counselling and legal services to survivors of violence, as well as vocational training for women to facilitate their entry into the workforce.

Her Voice, Her Rights

Funding: $4.8 million (2016 to 2020)
Partner: BBC Media Action

BBC Media Action is the international charity of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It has been working with the media and communications sector to help reduce poverty and support people to claim their rights in Afghanistan for over 20 years. This project seeks to promote women’s rights and civil society organizations that promote women’s empowerment in four regions. This project will also provide training to journalists and radio station managers to increase the capacity of radio stations to speak to gender equality issues more effectively and responsibly on air, produce new radio programming that emphasizes women’s and girls’ rights, and build the capacity of civil society organizations to reach out to partners and media to increase awareness of women’s and girls’ rights and protection services.

Economic and Social Empowerment of Afghan Women

Funding: $5.9 million (2016 to 2020)
Partner: Zardozi

Zardozi is an Afghanistan-based NGO that promotes empowerment of Afghan women through supporting microenterprises. This project aims to strengthen Afghan civil society to protect and promote the rights and empowerment of women by ensuring they receive business support services to facilitate women’s economic empowerment. Community business centres will be established to deliver skills-development training sessions, workshops and services to enable women to establish microbusinesses in local communities.

Cultivating the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Afghanistan

Funding: $5.5 million (2016 to 2021)
Partner: Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Canada is part of a confederation of 17 affiliated organizations that has been working in Afghanistan for over 50 years. This project seeks to increase awareness at the community level (including religious and political leaders) of the legal rights of women and girls, by providing education on Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence Against Women Law; training district-level law enforcement bodies on more effective provision of legal support; and establishing district-level consultation centres to provide legal, protection and referral services to survivors of violence, among other activities.

Women’s Enterprise, Advocacy and Training Program

Funding: $5.9 million (2016 to 2021)
Partner: Relief International

Relief International is an international NGO based in the United States that operates in more than 20 countries, including Afghanistan. This project seeks to address both urgent and long-term needs of Afghan women and girls facing gender-based violence by training Afghan police, paralegals and prosecution units on implementing Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence Against Women law; working with organizations to improve access to emergency medical, psychological and social support services to help survivors of gender-based violence; and increasing livelihood opportunities for women through the establishment of enterprises.

Enhancing Protection for Afghan Children

Funding: $8.5 million (2015 to 2019)
Partner: War Child Canada

This project seeks to work with Afghan government officials, civil society and key stakeholders to improve the systems in place to protect children in Afghanistan. This will include developing, and then establishing, a community-based child-protection model in more than 95 child-friendly community centres; and providing training for education stakeholders on child-friendly learning techniques, child rights and child-protection strategies to promote safe learning environments.

Family Health Houses

Funding: an additional $2 million (2016 to 2017) to an existing $5.5-million initiative
Partner: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Funding for this project aims to extend, by one year, an existing $5.5-million UNFPA initiative, which provides access to reproductive and other health services for women and children in rural and remote areas of Daikundi, one of the poorest provinces in Afghanistan. Through this funding, a transition plan and guidelines for transferring the responsibility for Family Health Houses to the Ministry of Public Health will also be developed.

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Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau Global Affairs Canada Government and Politics

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