From October 1 to December 31, 2009,
Canadian funding helped the World Food
Programme distribute more than 95,000 metric
tonnes of food to Afghans in need.
Afghanistan is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, with millions of Afghans in constant, desperate need of international aid. For this priority, Canada 's 2011 objective is for humanitarian assistance to be accessible to the most vulnerable people, including Afghan refugees, and to returnees and internally displaced persons in Kandahar.
In this quarter, Canada continued to implement its third signature project: eradicating polio at the national level. Implemented by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, more than seven million children were targeted nationally for vaccinations, and over 95 percent of children in accessible areas of the country were reached despite ongoing insecurity. Afghanistan is also the first country to use a newly introduced bivalent vaccine, which provides protection against two strains of polio with a single dose, and is thus expected to significantly improve the chances of stopping transmission of the disease.
Canada is also making a major contribution to mine action. During this quarter in Kandahar, Canada 's funding helped clear more than 52,000 mines and provided mine risk education to more than 40,000 individuals. Clearly this work, including Canadian-funded action at the national level, is having a significant impact: during this quarter, the number of land-mine victims in Afghanistan dropped significantly and farmers are regaining access to land that had been previously unusable for agriculture.
In this quarter, Canada supported national efforts by the UN High Commission for Refugees to distribute winterization packages for needy Afghans, including blankets, plastic sheeting and warm clothing.