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Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan

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Canada’s Continued Support in the Fight Against Polio

Photo © Government of Canada
Official launch of the National Immunization Days campaign in the presence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

On September 17, 2011, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the National Immunization Days campaign, which is part of intensified efforts to wipe out polio from the country.

Thanks to these efforts, almost eighty-five per cent of Afghanistan is now deemed polio-free, and transmission of the virus is largely constrained to the south of the country.

Acting Head of Mission Philip MacKinnon attended the official launch of this campaign in the presence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other invited officials. Canada is the single largest donor to polio eradication in Afghanistan and the Polio Eradication Initiative is one of Canada’s three Signature Projects.

From 2008-2011, Canada contributed $60 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Afghanistan.  In November 2010, Canada publicly announced its continuing support to polio eradication efforts globally with new funding of $58.5 million over three years (with a significant portion going towards Afghanistan). Over 7.8 million children across Afghanistan continue to be vaccinated against polio, including approximately 400,000 in Kandahar province.

For more information about Canada’s polio eradication efforts, please visit:


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