Monday, January 12, 2009

"Foreign Aid"

Canada will spend $50 million to help repair Afghan dam: Oda
Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has been chosen by the government to repair the Dahla irrigation dam outside the city of Kandahar, Oda said.

When fixed, the dam — once the region's premier hydroelectric facility and irrigation regulator — is expected to irrigate 10,000 hectares of land and provide jobs for 10,000 seasonal workers.

"This is major project, and we're very, very pleased," Oda said during an announcement with the new governor of Kandahar, Tooryalai Wesa, at Canadian forward operating base Frontenac, which is within eyesight of the dam.

The repairs to the dam, which was built in the 1950s, should be completed by 2011, the year Canada is scheduled to end its military commitments in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, back in Kabul....

KABUL, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Afghanistan will not be able to reach its goal of being free from landmines and unexploded bombs by March 2013 unless urgent funding is received, the United Nations said on Monday.

After nearly 30 years of war, Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world with more than 640 km square (247 square miles) of land still contaminated, the U.N. said.

Afghanistan signed the Ottawa Treaty in 2003, committing itself to ridding the country of all mines by March 2013. In a separate agreement with the international community, 70 percent of the country is to be cleared by March 2011.

"In order to reach these objectives ... over the next five years, based on our calculations, the programme needs another $500 million," Mohammad Haidar Reza, programme director for the U.N. mine clearing agency (UNMACA) told a news conference.

Exexutive summary: Canada has $50 million to funnel to a Quebec engineering company while the mine clearing progamme, as imagined by the Ottawa Treaty, is broke.

John Perkins
Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man