Friday, November 13, 2009

What Matters, What To Do Now, How It's Done: 'In It for The Long Haul.'

"Despite the challenges, since 2002, extraordinary gains have been made in Afghanistan, including the return of millions of girls to school, the beginnings of a functional primary health-care system, the availability of micro-credit to women, a parliamentary quota for women MPs, and promising economic growth. Having closely followed developments in Afghanistan since 1996, I have watched in awe the changes that have occurred over the last seven years. These include changes to the physical landscape – as reconstruction takes place, roads are paved, and Afghans have cultivated gardens and parks – as well as to the psychological landscape. People are free from the oppression of the Taliban, women take part increasingly in public life, and the arts and culture sector are on an exciting rebound. It is an entirely different place than it was in any part of the 1990s.

". . .I think it’s imperative that an international security force remain on the ground in Afghanistan for at least a decade to come, and that should include representation from Canada. This is part of the solution in that it will provide much needed breathing space to build the foundations of a long-term solution: the establishment of effective, quality education, health care, good governance, legal reform, poverty alleviation, and space for the growth of civil society. But the Canadian government, and other donor governments who want to see a stable, peaceful Afghanistan must begin to explicitly make the link between long-term security and quality education; and they must be in it for the long haul."

- Lauryn Oates, my co-founder at the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, from here. More about Lauryn here.


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