Canada's engagement in Afghanistan is defined and guided by six specific, but interrelated, priorities: enable the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in Kandahar to sustain a more secure environment and promote law and order; strengthen Afghan institutional capacity to deliver basic services; provide humanitarian aid to extremely vulnerable people; enhance border security with facilitation of Afghan-Pakistani dialogue; help advance Afghanistan's capacity for democratic governance; and facilitate Afghan-led political reconciliation.
Importantly, Canada 's priorities in Afghanistan are not isolated spheres of activity; progress in one priority area can drive progress in others. For example, a more secure environment leads to economic opportunity and facilitates the provision of humanitarian services to impoverished or displaced Afghans. Enabling the delivery of basic services—education, health, water—by the Afghan government can in turn build trust in domestic governance and thus work to support a more stabilized Afghanistan.
Within the summary that follows, we highlight activities in which Canada is engaged at the national level, toward making Afghanistan better governed, more secure and stable. Progress on activities that correspond to our established benchmarks is summarized in the Appendix to this report.