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American Forces Press Service

Turkey To Open 27th Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2006 – Turkey will open the 27th of 34 Provincial Reconstruction Teams planned for Afghanistan later this week, officials in Bagram, Afghanistan announced today.

The new PRT, in Wardak province, will assist Afghan authorities with reconstruction efforts and enhance development and stability within the province, according to Army Col. Thomas Collins, spokesman for Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

The PRT will focus on providing health care, education, police training and agricultural alternatives to local farmers, Collins said. Its projects will be structured to meet the benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact Document and the Interim Afghanistan National Development Strategy.

Although the PRT won’t open officially until Nov. 9, Turkish representatives already have started what they call “quick impact assistance projects” before the official opening ceremony, officials said.

These include construction of:

* Primary girls’ schools in Nirkh, Jalriz and Saidabad districts;
* A childbirth and comprehensive health-care center in the Desti Dut region of Saidabad district;
* A recreational sports center;
* A children’s park in Maidan Shar;
* A vocational agriculture school and student dormitory; and
* A water tank and cold storage facility.

These projects are valued at about $3 million U.S. dollars, officials said.

Turkey also has started a humanitarian assistance project for the Wardak people, officials said. The first phase of the project, which cost $300,000, will deliver 150 tons of flour, 150 tons of rice, 150 tons of beans, 30 tons of sugar, 30 tons of oil and 6 tons of tea to some 6,000 needy families in eight districts.

An official ceremony today at the Wardak Governor’s Building will launch the delivery of this humanitarian aid, officials said.

Turkey has participated in the International Security Assistance Force since its inception and was in command of ISAF II and ISAF VII. On Aug. 7, Turkey also took command responsibility for Regional Command Central, with the help of partners France and Italy.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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