Arghandab River, Kandahar.
With a population of roughly one million, Kandahar is Afghanistan’s second largest province and is a major political and economic hub in the southern part of the country. A former stronghold of the Taliban, Kandahar is a province in great need: it is poor, it is prone to insurgent activity, and it represents political, economic and military strategic ground.
Kandahar, in short, is one of the most difficult operating environments in the world for an aid and reconstruction program. Even so, through the mutually reinforcing efforts of the Canadian military personnel, diplomats, corrections experts, police officers, and development specialists that form the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, there has been significant progress in the province in critical areas such as education and health.
Canada is committed to building on these hard-won gains through a renewed programming approach focussed on targeted priorities and supported by a growing complement of Canadian civilians, who work under the leadership of the Representative of Canada in Kandahar. As Canada progresses in Kandahar, our assistance will increasingly benefit its people, with a shift from 17% to 50% of programming efforts focussed in the province.
After decades of conflict and oppression, Afghanistan will not become a functioning and self-reliant democracy in just a few short years. Rebuilding the country is a complex process requiring great effort, commitment, and time. But Canada, working as part of an international partnership, is steadfast in its commitment to help Afghans build a stronger and more secure Kandahar, and to support Afghanistan in its transition to becoming a viable state.