War Child is extraordinarily pleased to announce that our programs team will be receiving $14.5M from the Government of Canada for the enhancement of women and girls’ rights and the protection of children in Afghanistan. The funding, announced by the Government of Canada on October 4th, forms part of a $40M investment in the country to be rolled out over the next 5 years.
Afghanistan has been blighted by war and poverty for decades and women and children have borne the brunt of the suffering. 82% of women and girls experience at least one form of physical, sexual or psychological violence and more than 60% experience several. Additionally, women’s role in decision making is constrained to household matters, and economic opportunities are limited.
War Child has been working in Afghanistan for over a decade to address these injustices and change ingrained attitudes towards women and children. The funding provided by the Government of Canada will help to increase both the capacity and the reach of War Child programs in the country.
Empowering the Women of Afghanistan
War Child will continue to promote the empowerment of Afghan women and increase the capacity of local organizations to protect the rights of women and children through a number of initiatives, including offering training and grants to implement local protection projects and working with relevant ministries to increase awareness of women’s rights. The program will also help to provide critical counselling and legal services to survivors of violence, as well as vocational training for women to facilitate their entry into the workforce.
Child Protection and Safe Learning
The Government of Canada has agreed to fund a program targeting over 30,000 children, allowing War Child to work alongside Afghan government officials and civil society to improve the systems in place to protect children in Afghanistan.
This will include developing, and then establishing, a community-based child-protection model in more than 95 child-friendly community centres; and providing training for education stakeholders on child-friendly learning techniques, child rights and child-protection strategies to promote safe learning environments.
“Today’s announcement by the Government of Canada of a $40M investment in Afghanistan – including a significant contribution to War Child Canada – is very welcome news for the women and children of that country”, said War Child COO, Dr. Lorna Read. “Hopefully it will serve as an encouragement for others in the International Community to follow Canada’s lead.”
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, commented “Empowering women and girls is essential for Afghanistan’s development. While significant progress has been achieved, Afghan women and girls continue to face widespread discrimination, human rights abuses and major barriers to participating in the economy. By working with our partners, we can help eliminate some of these barriers to ensure a better future for women and girls in Afghanistan.”