CARE, Oxfam, and World Vision respond to Independent Panel Report: Afghanistan needs development that is coordinated, not co-opted



    OTTAWA, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Three Canadian organizations working with Afghan
communities expressed concern with the development recommendations contained
within the Independent Panel Report released today. Afghans desperately
require effective, community-owned development that is coordinated, not
co-opted by military strategy, said CARE, Oxfam, and World Vision. Afghan
priorities must be at the heart of Canada's development approach.
    The three agencies welcomed the report's emphasis on making Canadian aid
to Afghanistan more effective. However, they criticized the report's emphasis
on rapid-impact development projects. Such projects, chosen for military
reasons, provide few lasting benefits to Afghans and too often endanger
civilians and aid workers.
    Furthermore, the agencies expressed disagreement with the report's
recommendation that more project-based bilateral aid should go to Kandahar at
the expense of other regions. Canada needs to support a whole-of-country aid
strategy, not a Kandahar-driven one, they said.
    "We must re-orient the focus of Canadian aid in Afghanistan. The
humanitarian and development needs are extreme throughout the country," said
Dave Toycen, president and CEO of World Vision Canada. "The current uneven
distribution of aid to the areas of insecurity in the south and east is
creating grievances in other parts of Afghanistan. I'll certainly be asking
members of Parliament to go beyond the recommendations of the panel to ensure
our aid is allocated primarily by the needs and priorities of the Afghan
people. This means a broad, strategic approach, with an overall country
perspective in mind. That's the only way to find lasting security and hope for
the future of Afghan children and families."
    Mark Fried, advocacy coordinator of Oxfam Canada said, "The military has
neither the expertise nor the staying power to engage in the long-term
development that Afghans need and want. Quick impact projects are all too
frequently synonymous with ineffective aid."





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview contact: Andrea
Lanthier-Seymour, Communications Director, CARE Canada, Tel: (613) 228-5678,
Cell (613) 799-7562, E-mail: andrea@care.ca; Mark Fried, Advocacy Coordinator,
Oxfam Canada, Contact: Alexandra Lopoukhine, Tel: (613) 850-9723,
alexandral@oxfam.ca; Lina Holguin, Policy Director, Oxfam Québec, Tel: (819)
923-0041, E-mail: HolguinL@oxfam.qc.ca (Elle peut répondre en français); Dave
Toycen, President, World Vision Canada, Contact: Sharon Marshall, Senior
Advisor, Public Relations, Tel: (905) 565-6200 ext. 2213, Cell (416) 677-4354,
E-mail: Sharon_marshall@worldvision.ca


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