News: U.S., Italian Ambassadors discuss security, governance and economic development during visit to Farah Province
Story by Senior Airman Rylan Albright
FARAH, Afghanistan - United States Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and Italian Ambassador Claudio Glaentzer visited with coalition forces and Farah provincial leadership, May 23, in Farah, Afghanistan.
The ambassadors met with leadership from Task Force Three Fury, Task Force South, Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah and the Farah Provincial Government to discuss military and civilian operations and to assess the progress the provincial government is making.
"Our mission here in Afghanistan for the United States and for the international community, is to try to bring help in three ways; to help improve security, to help strengthen the government, and also to help improve economic development," said Eikenberry.
The trip began at Forward Operating Base Farah where the ambassadors met with coalition forces and civilian representatives. Topics focused on ensuring Afghan Security Forces are being properly trained and utilized, reconstruction efforts being made in the province, and the steps the government is taking to accomplish these tasks.
"In security, I have to say the improvements have been very significant. The last time that I came to Farah, it was last fall, even to get from Farah City to Highway 1 was difficult because of insecurity," said Eikenberry, "Through very hard work, the governor, the police, the National Directorate of Security, the army, and the international military forces, the security situation has been described to me as 100 percent better."
The ambassadors conducted meetings with Farah Governor Rahool Amin and members from the Farah Provincial Council to assess the government influence over the people of Farah.
"I am impressed with the steady improvements in the confidence and the seriousness of the government," said Eikenberry.
The ambassadors also visited several bazaars, as a way to interact with the local populace on the streets of Farah and to address concerns of the people.
"Everyone in Farah, the governor, the provincial council, all the people I have met on the streets in the bazaars, all say that the top priorities are electricity, water management, more roads so the farmers can get their crops to markets, and higher education," said Eikenberry.
Reconstruction and improvement projects are currently being undertaken by the government to boost employment and improve the quality of life in the province. The two ambassadors assured the provincial government that more development will be institued in the near future.
"We are continuing to help the provincial government with paving the roads leading out of Farah City," said Eikenberry, "Efforts are also underway for the provision for labor support and wages for the cleaning of canals."
The trip concluded with a visit to the Farah City Orphanage, a newly refurbished facility offering food, shelter, clothing, and education to children ages 4 through 18, and a visit to the women's HOLD (Humanitarian Organization for Local Development) center.
"It is my first visit [to Farah]. I was extremely impressed by the excellent work that the governor, the provincial council, the chief of police, and other people that are in this government perform," said Glaentzer, "I hope that we can define this as a story of success. This is very important to us."
This work, U.S., Italian Ambassadors discuss security, governance and economic development during visit to Farah Province, by SrA Rylan Albright, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.