Author Topic: Oda in Kabul as Ottawa seeks to focus development efforts, set benchmarks  (Read 1243 times)

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Oda in Kabul as Ottawa seeks to focus development efforts, set benchmarks
James Mccarten, THE CANADIAN PRESS April 21, 2008, EDT.
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KABUL - International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda is in Kabul as part of an ongoing push by Ottawa to refine Canada's goals and objectives in Afghanistan.

At a teacher's college in the bustling capital, Oda was greeted with flowers and open arms by administrators and Afghan Education Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar.

Students who asked Oda for more funding help were told by Atmar that Canada is already the top donor to the Education Quality Improvement Project, or EQUIP, Afghanistan's largest education program.

Last October, Oda announced $60 million over four years to better allow schools and communities to manage teaching and learning activities, build facilities and hire personnel, all with a special emphasis on educating girls.

"We now see young girls and young women attending teacher's college - they have curriculum developed, they've got textbooks now, as well as teacher training manuals," Oda said.

"This (Atmar) kindly attributed to Canada's contribution."

Later, Oda told delegates at an aid conference that Canada plans to establish specific, focused benchmarks for its efforts in the war-torn country.

She says she has met with Afghan ministers to get a better sense of what Canada can realistically achieve before its scheduled pullout date in 2011.

"We have to ensure we are more focused, that we are going to outline the benchmarks that we want to achieve," Oda said.
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