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Samir Miflih Hamid, a local program manager in Haditha, Iraq, speaks with members of the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team and US Agency for International Development in a newly refurbished technical school Monday. The ePRT and USAID members have funded more than $2 million in projects since February in efforts to rebuild Iraq. The technical school will offer machinery and mechanical classes to both men and women once completed.

Photo by Cpl. Shawn Coolman

USAID, reconstruction team view progress in Haditha

20 May 2008 | Cpl. Shawn Coolman 1st Marine Division

Albeit slow and arduous, Iraq’s journey to recovery is progressing forward with the help of select personnel.

Members of the embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team and US Agency for International Development viewed the heart of Haditha’s market place Monday for signs of progress.

“This is what we (ePRT and Marines) do; we go on patrols through the city and make appointments with the residents to see how they are doing,” said Mark B. Humphries, an ePRT governance specialist for the Haditha district.  

PRT and USAID members work with Regimental Combat Team 5, and their job is to rebuild Iraq’s antiquated infrastructure one project at a time.

“We’re doing good things here; we wanted to see the progress being made in the area and we wanted to see how Haditha was doing,” said John A. Matel, team leader for ePRT here. “It’s very heartening to see this place; it’s doing great.”

Many projects around the Al Anbar province have been funded by USAID and ePRT, which as part of their duties, commission Iraqi contractors to rebuild the area themselves.  

"There has been $2 million in funding since February for projects here which have all been funded by USAID, which is a foreign affairs agency of the U.S. government,” said Matel. 

A few projects that have begun here are pond diggings to develop agriculture, budget training for local jurisdictions and bureaucratic-execution training, which teaches government officials how to run a successful government, said Matel.  

One project underway in Haditha is the technical school, which is being refurbished and will allow both men and women to attend machinery and mechanic classes.  

In addition, if the school can find a suitable instructor, ePRT members have offered to supply fish hatchery equipment for the school to utilize. 

“In one or two years we will be back to normal again; we would like to look back and see what we did for our people,” said Samir Miflih Hamid, a local program manager here, about the Iraqi people transitioning into a better life for themselves.  

Programs like these, which are being offered to the Iraqi people, are helping the Iraqi people return to their normal lives.

One of the goals is to help the Iraqis’ lives to become normal. When you flip the switch, the light turns on; when you turn the knob, the water starts running are some small examples, said Matel.

“The people just want to live ordinary lives, and this will happen, I hope, with our help,” Matel added. “Iraq is a keystone; they have everything they need to succeed.”     

1st Marine Division