Afghanistan Shows Progress on Economic, Governance Fronts

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 12, 2010 — Sev­er­al achieve­ments in Sep­tem­ber demon­strate Afghanistan’s progress in eco­nom­ic and gov­er­nance devel­op­ment, accord­ing to a NATO Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Force news release.

ISAF offi­cials issued the fol­low­ing as exam­ples of progress from each region that they said reflects the long-term com­mit­ment of the Afghan gov­ern­ment and its inter­na­tion­al part­ners to cre­ate secu­ri­ty, sta­bil­i­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ty for all Afghans. They also demon­strate the con­tin­u­ing suc­cess of part­nered Afghan-coali­tion secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions to pro­tect the peo­ple from the insur­gency, they said.

In the South­west:

— About 1,000 Afghan farm­ers and vil­lage elders declared an end to drug pro­duc­tion in north­ern Mar­jah dur­ing an anti-drug sum­mit in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber. The farm­ers agreed to stop grow­ing illic­it plants like opi­um.

— Just five months ago Mar­jah did not have a for­mal­ly-trained police force. Today Mar­jah has a police sta­tion and about 300 ful­ly trained police offi­cers to patrol the area. The facil­i­ty also serves as a police recruit­ing sta­tion to hire local res­i­dents. The steady increase in secu­ri­ty and local police hires con­tributes to dis­trict gov­ern­ment sta­bil­i­ty, and is help­ing eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.

— Marjah’s local gov­ern­ment helped open four new schools in time for the new school year. Among the four, Mar­jah High School opened its doors for the first time in more than six years, with about 150 boys and girls reg­is­ter­ing on the first day.

— A mar­ket­place that was closed for more than five years reopened in Mar­jah on Sept. 11. In the Musa Qal’ah Dis­trict of Hel­mand province the bazaar has grown from about 200 shops in March to more than 500 today, pro­vid­ing shop own­ers through­out the Hel­mand Riv­er Val­ley venues to sell goods and stim­u­late local eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.

In the South:

— Afghan offi­cials and inter­na­tion­al part­ners are work­ing to improve the sup­ply of elec­tric­i­ty to Kan­da­har City. The first of two 10-megawatt pow­er plants is sched­uled to be oper­a­tional by Decem­ber, and is expect­ed to pro­vide pow­er to up to 15,000 homes. Provin­cial offi­cials intend to use the pow­er to expand essen­tial ser­vices and cre­ate jobs. The Kan­da­har provin­cial gov­er­nor is plan­ning a busi­ness expo lat­er this year to attract com­mer­cial ven­tures.

In the North:

— In the com­mer­cial hub of Mazar‑E Sharif, Afghan offi­cials and inter­na­tion­al part­ners are engaged in sev­er­al major infra­struc­ture projects such as road con­struc­tion, the North-East Pow­er-Sys­tem, Hos­pi­tal Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh Uni­ver­si­ty com­plex, and water util­i­ty improve­ment pro­gram.

— The Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion and Avi­a­tion plans to reha­bil­i­tate 30 air­ports through­out the coun­try. This project includes the con­struc­tion of two new air­ports in Badakhshan and Faryab provinces. The new projects are intend­ed to boost traf­fic and bol­ster the econ­o­my in the provinces.

— A $170 mil­lion project to con­struct a 75-kilo­me­ter rail­road line between Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif near the Uzbek­istan bor­der is com­plete. Work­ers are sched­uled to fin­ish installing an addi­tion­al 25 kilo­me­ters of rail line for side and switch­ing yards in Novem­ber. The project, under the super­vi­sion of the Min­istry of Pub­lic Works, will have a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ic impact as almost half of Afghanistan’s imports pass through Hairatan.

— The Min­istry of Mines recent­ly opened four new petro­le­um wells in the Angot area of Sar‑E Pul province. The wells are expect­ed to yield about 800 bar­rels of crude oil dai­ly. In the East:

— Work is near­ly com­plete on a new 100-bed hos­pi­tal in Khost City that will dou­ble patient capac­i­ty over the exist­ing facil­i­ty, improve the qual­i­ty of and access to health care for the province’s 1 mil­lion res­i­dents, and cre­ate jobs in the province. The hos­pi­tal will include an emer­gency room, male, female and children’s wards, mid­wife and mater­ni­ty wards, x‑ray and oncol­o­gy depart­ments. The Afghan Min­istry of Health will staff the hos­pi­tal. Offi­cials plan to open the facil­i­ty lat­er this fall.

— Afghan women in Jalal­abad are reha­bil­i­tat­ing a nurs­ing hos­tel and per­form­ing tra­di­tion­al­ly male tasks like paint­ing, plas­ter­ing and elec­tri­cal work. The pro­gram is geared toward train­ing and employ­ing war wid­ows and women with dis­abled hus­bands.

— Also in Jalal­abad, work is begin­ning on a new 1,200-student Tech­ni­cal and Pro­fes­sion­al Learn­ing Insti­tute. The Edu­ca­tion Min­istry is fund­ing the project, which will pro­vide stu­dents with tech­ni­cal and voca­tion­al train­ing, an impor­tant foun­da­tion for eco­nom­ic growth in the region.

— In Pak­ti­ka province, about 60 stu­dents are enrolled in the Sha­rana Voca­tion­al and Agri­cul­ture Center’s two-month class to learn chick­en and egg pro­duc­tion. Six­ty farm­ers also are enrolled in a train­ing pro­gram in War­dak to learn how to increase fruit orchard yields. These Afghan-led pro­grams are designed to improve agri­cul­ture prac­tices and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in the provinces.

In the West:

— Thir­ty-five Afghan farm­ers gath­ered Sept. 14 at the Her­at Seed Cen­ter to receive sev­en tons of saf­fron bulbs and fer­til­iz­er donat­ed by the Ital­ian Provin­cial Recon­struc­tion Team. Each farmer received 440 pounds of saf­fron bulbs, which could cov­er about 3,000 square meters. Saf­fron is drought resis­tant and a high-dol­lar val­ue crop, mak­ing it a good alter­na­tive to pop­py cul­ti­va­tion. Six­ty tons of saf­fron bulbs are planned for dis­tri­b­u­tion across Afghanistan.

— In Her­at, work is almost com­plete on a $650,000 women’s social cen­ter. The facil­i­ty, planned in coor­di­na­tion with Herat’s Depart­ment of Women’s Affairs, will offer a more secure women’s train­ing facil­i­ty and meet­ing place.

— Farah province Gov. Rahool Amin vis­it­ed Pur Chaman, the province’s most-remote dis­trict, to meet with local and dis­trict offi­cials. He addressed sev­er­al hun­dred res­i­dents and unveiled six pro­posed devel­op­ment projects, includ­ing a micro-hydro plant to devel­op elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, a bee-keep­ing facil­i­ty to expand the district’s hon­ey pro­duc­tion, solar street lights, a boy’s school, expan­sion of a health clin­ic, and a secu­ri­ty wall around a girl’s school.

In the Cap­i­tal region:

— Afghan provin­cial and dis­trict lead­ers for­mal­ly opened a bridge in Farza dis­trict Sept. 25. The $170,000 project began in Feb­ru­ary at the request of Shah Nasir vil­lage res­i­dents. A small riv­er divides the vil­lage, and dur­ing spring thaws the high­er water lev­el had cut off vil­lage res­i­dents from vital ser­vices.

Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces Devel­op­ment:

— Twen­ty-nine Afghan women grad­u­at­ed Sept. 23 from the Afghan army’s offi­cer can­di­date school at the Kab­ul Mil­i­tary Train­ing Cen­ter. Today there are near­ly 300 women in the Afghan army. These new­ly com­mis­sioned sec­ond lieu­tenants com­prised the first group of women to grad­u­ate from the offi­cer train­ing pro­gram. Dur­ing the 20-week officer’s course, the can­di­dates learned basic mil­i­tary skills and were trained to become finance or logis­tics offi­cers. Recruit­ing is under­way for the next class to begin in Novem­ber.

— An Afghan army com­pa­ny of about 100 sol­diers depart­ed Afghanistan Sept. 17 for Turkey to par­tic­i­pate in Turkey’s com­man­do basic train­ing course. The month-long train­ing pro­gram is through a joint part­ner­ship between Afghan and Turk­ish defense forces. The course pro­vides Afghan secu­ri­ty forces with advanced train­ing in spe­cial oper­a­tions, urban war­fare tac­tics, marks­man­ship and oth­er com­bat tac­tics, increas­ing sol­diers’ secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions skills.

— The third group of Afghan army mil­i­tary police grad­u­at­ed Sept. 23 from the Deten­tion Oper­a­tions Train­ing Cen­ter in Par­wan. The 189 sol­diers com­plet­ed two weeks of lan­guage and eight weeks of deten­tion oper­a­tions train­ing pri­or to assum­ing guard oper­a­tions at the Par­wan deten­tion facil­i­ty. More than 700 Afghan mil­i­tary police are cur­rent­ly train­ing to aug­ment the guard force. More than 100 Afghan guards are ful­ly trained and stand­ing guard duty with their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →