Afghanistan has one of the youngest populations in the world. With an average birth rate of more than six children per woman, the population of children and youth will continue to grow. Furthermore, the youth of Afghanistan continue to face barriers to education and threats to their health. Afghanistan’s future prosperity and stability will depend on equipping its youth population with the necessary skills and resources to contribute to the country’s security and development, and ensuring that children have better access to health care.
Canada is continuing to support the formal education system in Afghanistan for long-term results, and community-based education to meet immediate needs in more remote areas. Our work will place particular emphasis on promoting greater access to education for both girls and young women, and on training new teachers, particularly women.
As part of Canada’s commitment to the G8 2010 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Under-Five Child Health, we will support Afghanistan’s efforts to strengthen its health system, to prevent and treat diseases through polio vaccination programs as a basis for other health monitoring and evaluation initiatives, and to improve nutrition for mothers, newborns and children younger than five years of age.