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Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada announces humanitarian aid and support for peace in Sudan
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Canada, following the recent signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement, will increase its financial support for both urgently needed humanitarian assistance and peace support.
The Prime Minister was joined by Minister of International Cooperation Josée Verner, and Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the announcement.
“Canada will act. And I am here today to announce how,” said the Prime Minister. “Our government will pursue a two-pronged approach, splitting our efforts between the provision of humanitarian aid and peace support assistance. Combined, these efforts will help to normalize and stabilize the region, the first step necessary if the peace process is to succeed.”
Canada is immediately increasing financial support for Sudan by $40 million. Of that amount, $20 million will be used for urgent humanitarian needs, such as the provision of food aid, water and sanitation, basic health care, the protection of, and assistance to, displaced populations in Sudan and in neighbouring countries. Partners will include key UN humanitarian agencies, the Red Cross Movement, as well as Canadian NGOs.
"Canada remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan as they work toward a lasting peace," said Minister Verner. "Today’s funding will help ensure that the basic needs of the most vulnerable people are met."
In addition to Canada’s ongoing contributions to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), an additional $20 million will go specifically to enhance AMIS’s ability to assist in the initial implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement and lay the groundwork for a successful transition to a UN mission.
"Canada is committed to helping the people of Sudan achieve a durable peace focused on the protection of civilians. Peace building efforts are absolutely critical in order for humanitarian workers to have access to the people in the region and deliver much-needed aid," said Minister MacKay.
Source : OPM - Ottawa, May 23, 2006