Canadian Soldiers bring Christmas Cheer to People with Disabilities in Southern Afghanistan.

    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - In an attempt to bring some Christmas cheer to
the poorest people of Kandahar region - people with disabilities, Canadian
military personnel recently distributed much needed supplies including flour
and cooking oil.
    cbm's Canadian Director Dave McComiskey praised the Canadian military for
their heart-warming and practical gesture. McComiskey stated, "I was very
moved by the Canadians' outreach to the poorest people of the Kandahar region
- those with disabilities. It was wonderful to see that this very needy and
often neglected group were given vital provisions to help them survive."
    The World Health Organization estimates that 10% of the world's
population suffers from a permanent disability which severely impacts quality
of life. With the majority of these people living in the developing world, the
burden of disability is clearly heaviest on those nations least able to cope.
    McComiskey believes there is a clear association between poverty and
disability. "We know that poverty causes disability and without a doubt
disability in the developing world causes poverty."
    Commenting on the Canadian military's gesture, McComiskey noted, "While I
praise Canada's help for these needy people, I fear that it is only
short-term. There are also people who need prostheses for legs lost in
landmine explosions and others could benefit from wheelchairs appropriate for
the terrain around Kandahar."
    He also feels that many people with disabilities missed out on the needed
supplies because they had to travel to the military for aid. "From my
experience," says McComiskey, "people with disabilities such as blindness or
cerebral palsy are unable to come to us for help - we need to go them with
    McComiskey went on to say, "This is a wonderful start and I highly
commend the Canadian forces. I hope this is not a one-time gesture. Let's look
for ways to sustain our efforts."

    CBM is an expert at helping people with disabilities throughout the
developing world.
    CBM currently supports 1,011 disability-focused projects in 112 countries
Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

For further information:

For further information: Lindsay O'Connor, CBM National Media & Public
Relations Manager, (647) 202-3445,

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