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Officials Tour Iraqi Cities to Begin Work on Reconstruction Projects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2004 – Officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority's Program Management Office have embarked on a seven-city tour of central and northern Iraq to meet with local leaders and to discuss and begin work on the reconstruction projects slated for their areas.

A coalition news release said representatives of the CPA, Iraqi ministries and the military will visit Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah, Baquba, Ramadi, Samarra and Baghdad with lists of reconstruction projects slated to begin later this year.

These projects will be funded by a number of sources, including the U.S. $18.4 billion supplemental spending package, the United Nations Development Fund for Iraq, the Commanders Emergency Response Program, the Rapid Regional Response Program and the Capital Budget for Ministries, officials said.

"We are at a critical junction with the reconstruction effort," said Retired Navy Rear Adm. David J. Nash, director of the Program Management Office. "We are launching this tour to discuss these projects with the local councils and work with them on restoring a better quality of life for the people of Iraq."

The construction projects are part of the overall reconstruction of Iraq's vital infrastructure, officials said, and are categorized through six sectors, including electricity; water resources and public works; security and justice; transportation and communications; buildings, health and education; and oil.

Nash noted the reconstruction effort will provide a wide range of jobs and opportunities for local businesses to participate in the project completion.

"Since we began this effort, one of our main goals was to provide jobs to the Iraqi people and stimulate the economy through the rebuilding of their infrastructure," he said. "We are taking that message to these areas to help the Iraqi people earn a decent living and bring a solid foundation for their local economies to grow."

The tour is scheduled to last three to five days, and other locations are scheduled to follow, coalition officials said.

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