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Fallujah Reconstruction Funds Await Restored Security

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2004 – Millions of dollars in reconstruction projects are available for Fallujah once security is re-established in the troubled Iraqi city, a Combined Joint Task Force 7 news release reported today.

Marines in Fallujah met with the city's mayor and awarded contracts to move humanitarian assistance supplies throughout the city. Several hundred tools were stored at the Fallujah Liaison Team building - including shovels, picks and wheelbarrows - which will be used for future street-clearing and debris removal projects, the news release said.

A Marine government support team also signed a contract April 25 for an initial $6,400 payment to the Al-Yam publishing company for adult literacy program textbooks. The new textbooks will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching programs geared toward adults, officials said in the news release.

The task force also reported that Marines in Ramadi checked on the progress of three of their street improvement projects today. Improvements to road conditions in the city now allow easier travel and eliminate raw sewage from running into the street, the news release said, and several similar projects there are still ongoing.

A new class of 88 Iraqi police officers graduated recently from the Ramadi Police Academy, the news release reported. The new Iraqi police were trained in handcuffing procedures, first aid, communications, building clearing techniques and weapons training, officials said, and graduates were issued uniforms, flashlights and pistols.

"It's an honor for us to become policemen and to help make peace for our people and their property," said Iraqi Police Lt. Col. Rafea Muhmoud Mustafa, the class's honor graduate.

Marines visited police in Karabilah April 25 to deliver helmets and hydration systems, the task force reported. Marines and Iraqi police there conducted joint patrols on the first day of work for another recently graduated class of Iraqi police.

Another CJTF 7 news release reported more than $300,000 will be pumped into eastern Baghdad neighborhoods, as a variety of coalition civil affairs projects get under way. The projects include trash and debris removal, publication of an English and Arabic newspaper, and renovations of a middle school said Army Capt. Brian Donnelly, a civil affairs adviser for units in eastern Baghdad.

These projects will continue, he said, and as more money begins to stabilize the economy, more projects will be turned over to the Iraqi people. Improvements to marketplaces and other business areas are planned, he said.

Modernization of Iraqi municipal systems, such as sewage and roadways, also is a priority for civil affairs, Donnelly said.

"We continually assess the needs of the Iraqi people through the neighborhood advisory councils and work to match their needs with available local resources," he said. "There is an abundant supply of quality labor. The majority of our projects are designed to employ that work force. It allows Iraqis to make Iraq better for themselves, and gives them pride in their accomplishments."

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Combined Joint Task Force 7
1st Marine Expeditionary Force

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