Saturday, September 01, 2007

CIDA Funds Child Labour In Afghanistan

We are fighting for women and children in Afghanistan say the Harpocrites. Shouldn't these kids be in a Canadian funded school?

Outside the hospital, Senlis members travelled to the construction site of a new bridge funded by CIDA.

But workers told the group they had no accident or medical insurance, and footage of the visit appears to show children working on the bridge.

Canada's new development minister, Bev Oda, called the findings overly simplistic. But in an interview with CTV News, she didn't dismiss the report.

"I can't say whether they're right or they're wrong," she said.

About this, or about reports of children being used as police/soldiers on Canadian PRT highway projects in Kandahar, or the existence of child brides.

CIDA's biggest success yet has been to fund Timmies in Kandahar.

And speaking of simplistic, how about this explanation for CIDA's success in Afghanistan.

See here for the SENLIS report complete with photos of child labourers.

His Excellency Omar Samad and The Honourable Beverley J. Oda. © ACDI/CIDA/Allan Lissner
The Honourable Beverley J. Oda,
Minister of International Cooperation,
meets with His Excellency Omar Samad,
Ambassador of Afghanistan to Canada,
while taking part in Afghanistan Independence
Day Celebrations (Toronto – August 25, 2007)

For Oda it appears that her new job has meant going from the frying pan into the fire. From cutting women's programs in Canada to providing funding for phantom programs in Afghanistan.

"As far as the accountability of the dollars, I am quite confident that the dollars we're committing to support Afghanistan is beneficial. We have real results that we can show," Ms. Oda said.

Like providing warlords with cell phone cards you get at the 7/11?

$4,500 CAD to supply cellular phone cards to local leaders in Panjwayi and Zharey districts.

The reality is that reconstruction is still NOT occurring according to this March 2007 Report for the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute
Reconstruction in Kandahar is woefully insufficient. For security reasons there are few civilians engaged in aid and development in the province, and NGOs are leaving because of the same concern for their safety

Reconstruction has been very slow in the south. The food aid distribution system has failed, causing a severe famine. Much of the population of southern Afghanistan is alienated from ISAF. Unless these circumstances change, the Canadian mission in Kandahar will become less and less acceptable to the local population. Time is not on NATO and Canada’s side.


With Canada’s major military commitment in Kandahar, one would expect to see a comparable level of humanitarian assistance, and where possible, development assistance. The CIDA expects to spend up to $20 million this fiscal year in Kandahar (of the planned $100 million aid disbursement across the country) to be delivered primarily through the PRT. It will disburse even more next year in coordination with the relevant local Afghan ministries. Canada also contributes to the Afghan National Programs that benefit Kandahar Province as well as the rest of the nation.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) is spending approximately $10–14 million in Kandahar this fiscal year through the PRT. The Department of National Defence (DND) also contributes through the Commander’s Contingency Fund on numerous smaller initiatives. The critical question is whether this is enough to reverse the situation in Kandahar.
The distribution of food aid is rarely monitored beyond Kandahar City; this makes food supplies and distribution networks in the province vulnerable to abuse and corruption and intensifies the political power of corrupt individuals and institutions based on their control over essential resources. The problem of corruption in Afghanistan has begun to receive acknowledgement by donors and is consistently flagged by Afghan civil society organizations as a major concern. But little has been done to address the causes of corruption at all levels of government – such as the insufficient salaries of civil servants and police – and in the aid industry, or to put in place monitoring and accountability systems to punish those perpetuating corrupt practices.

Development goals are also hindered by the understandable reluctance of international and local NGOs to operate in the region owing to endemic insecurity. Humanitarian workers have been threatened, attacked, and killed in the southern provinces; project sites are vulnerable to sabotage and attack by insurgents, and they receive little direct protection from the ISAF troops operating there, as they have other priorities. Numerous Afghan organizations (such as the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees [DACAAR]) have halted all operations in the south, as have large international agencies like Oxfam. In the south, one in four children will die before the age of five, 70 percent of children are malnourished, and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of more food assistance, as estimated by the World Food Programme (WFP).

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1 comment:

BlueBerry Pick'n said...


happy belated Labour Day...

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced