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The Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) recognizes the importance of providing basic needs for women and children in Afghanistan. The organization has vowed to give assistance to the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), a humanitarian group that offers health and educational services to impoverished peoples. The decision to support the ARCS came after a trip to Afghanistan during which leaders of the CIDA witnessed women and children living without these basic services. They immediately decided to do something about it. The Afghan Red Crescent Society and Canada International Development Agency will now work together to ensure that those who will most benefit from their help are reached. This begins with re-structuring the ARCS to increase quick response to disasters through a better-organized emergency response team. With Canada’s help, the ARCS will have the capacity to assist in large and small calamities. Both organizations agree they have the potential to save many lives. Over the course of five years, the CIDA and Canadian Red Cross Society will provide financial, advisory, and physical assistance to the Afghan organization. Of course, neither of the groups could be effective without the help of tens of thousands of volunteers working in Afghanistan. Well-trained volunteers are key to successfully administering relief to Afghans. Conrad Suavé, secretary general and the CEO of the Canadian Red Cross, is confident that this partnership will greatly benefit the Afghan people. Suavé states that, “Building community health and disaster response capacity across Afghanistan will allow the Red Crescent to reach more vulnerable communities with life-saving services.” Together, the organizations can offer a better life for many women and children in Afghanistan. – Mary Penn Source: CIDA Photo: National Post