14 May. 2008

PR# 2008-192

ISAF PRT discusses Zabul development with United Nations

KABUL, Afghanistan– In order to raise support for local development, the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) discussed projects and issues in Zabul province with United Nations (UN) representatives during their visit Thursday.

United Kingdom Army Brigadier General Sean Crane, senior military advisor to the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative, and Kai Eide, head of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), were briefed on current PRT activities and concerns.

The primary goal of the discussion was to increase international and national awareness of needed support to the province, said Lieutenant Colonel Bryce Brakman, Zabul PRT commander.

“One of the top priorities identified in the PRT's mission statement is to support Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) in its efforts to transform Zabul into an environment in which IOs and NGOs can operate effectively,” said Franz Seitz, a U.S. State Department officer working with the PRT. “Inter-governmental organization (IO) and non-governmental organizations (NGO) presence in Zabul is crucial to achieve reconstruction and development goals.”

UNAMA is the lead IO operating in Afghanistan and can influence other IOs, NGO and the GIRoA to direct more resources to Zabul, said Mr. Seitz.

Progress in Qalat is strategically important according to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Capacity Development Program. The city is located on Highway 1, which puts it in a prime location for IO and NGO activities with a potential business park promoting economic development.

In a positive step for the province, the Ministry of Urban Development plans to make Qalat a model city for urban development in Afghanistan, according to Mr. Seitz. IO and NGO support is crucial to ensure the province can support reconstruction, development and its own populace.

“Zabul is very impoverished and it’s going to take more resources to make substantial impacts,” said Lt. Col. Brakman. “To promote peace and stability, development initiatives are critical.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/