TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - War Child Canada is pleased to announce that it is to receive $14.5M from the Government of Canada for the enhancement of women and girls' rights and the protection of children in Afghanistan. The funding forms part of a $40M investment in the country announced today.
Afghanistan has been blighted by war and poverty for decades and women and children have borne the brunt of the suffering. Eighty-two percent of women and girls experience at least one form of physical, sexual or psychological violence and more than 60% experience several. Additionally, women's role in decision making is regularly limited to household matters, and their economic opportunities have traditionally been limited.
War Child has been working in Afghanistan for over a decade to address these injustices and change ingrained attitudes towards women and children. The two grants from the Government of Canada will greatly contribute to that.
PROGRAM ONE: War Child will seek to promote the empowerment of Afghan women 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 local protection projects and working with relevant ministries to increase awareness of women's rights. The program will also help to provide critical counselling and legal services to survivors of violence, as well as vocational training for women to facilitate their entry into the workforce.
PROGRAM TWO: The Government of Canada will fund a program targeting over 30,000 children. War Child will work with Afghan government officials and civil society 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.
"Today's announcement by the Government of Canada of a $40M investment in Afghanistan – including a significant contribution to War Child Canada - is very welcome news for the women and children of that country", said Ricard Corbridge, War Child Canada's Director of International Programs. "Hopefully it will serve as an encouragement for others in the International Community to follow Canada's lead."
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, commented "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."
SOURCE War Child Canada
Image with caption: "Girls at a War Child Canada safe space in Afghanistan. (CNW Group/War Child Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161004_C8291_PHOTO_EN_788702.jpg
For further information: James Topham, Director of Communications, War Child Canada, E; [email protected], P: 416.971.7474 ext. 240; AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: Dr. Lorna Read, Chief Operating Officer, War Child Canada; Richard Corbridge, Director, International Programs, War Child Canada; Nikki Whaites, Deputy Director, International Programs, War Child Canada