Institutional Capacity Building in Kandahar
Canada is working with the Government of Afghanistan nationally and in Kandahar to:
Building the confidence of Afghans in their own government is crucial to enabling them to assume responsibility for security, governance and development in Kandahar. But that public confidence will depend on the ability of Afghan authorities to deliver essential services. The Canadian priority of strengthening institutional capacity to deliver these services in key districts therefore reflects two interlocking imperatives: to improve lives and livelihoods in Kandahar; and to build institutions of effective, accountable government.
Schools, accessible water and sanitation, electricity, health and job generation are cited by Kandaharis themselves among their most pressing needs. Safe drinking water, health and sanitation are basic human needs. Irrigation is vital in arid Kandahar to promote legal agriculture and improve food security. Education and job generation lead to higher incomes and empower people to meet their own needs, while advancing the security and development of their communities. Ready employment in agriculture and other sectors helps reduce incentives to join the opium economy and discourages recruitment into the insurgency.
Kandahar is a province in a poor country. Scarcely 5 percent of Kandahari women can read; and the literacy rate among men is an estimated 26 percent. Basic public services remain inaccessible to most of its population. Nor have formal government institutions established a significant presence outside Kandahar City and a few larger rural communities. Governmental performance is further undermined by corruption and inefficiency. Plainly, successful development will require better governance, especially in the delivery of essential services and in job generation.
Canada’s programming in Kandahar province to date has been delivering concrete results in critical areas such education and community development. We will continue to work with the Government of Afghanistan in Kandahar in these areas and significantly expand our efforts to support economic growth in the province. For stronger and more immediate impact, more authority over programs will be delegated to our staff in the field. We have already set up the Kandahar Local Initiatives Program, a responsive and flexible instrument giving the Canadian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team the ability to act quickly on project proposals from local Afghans. We will also deploy more senior-ranking civilians in Kandahar.
Two of the three signature projects will be prominent among Canadian investments in Kandahar. In the first, Canada will support the urgent rehabilitation of Kandahar’s Dahla Dam and its irrigation and canal system—generating jobs and promoting agriculture. Refurbishing the Dahla Dam ranks among the highest priorities of the Afghan government. In the short term, the project will generate more than 10,000 jobs. As work is completed, irrigation will allow farmers to shift from poppy cultivation to legal crops.
The second signature project will involve the construction and rehabilitation of 50schools over the next three years. This will be supported by the training of up to 3,000teachers. As a result, children in key districts will have increased access to schooling while literacy and vocational training becomes available to adults.
Canadian Objective for 2011: