WASHINGTON– Coalition troops in Afghanistan recently teamed up with Afghan soldiers to provide food, clothing and fuel to Afghan villagers and to collect munitions in a rewards program, military officials said.

Coalition special operations and Afghan national security forces distributed humanitarian assistance to more than 400 villagers in the Deh Rawood district of Oruzgan province Jan. 30.

The combined forces distributed 200 bags of coal, 125 hygiene kits, 100 bags of rice and beans, 100 pairs of children’s shoes and socks, 80 boxes of tea, 60 men’s jackets, 40 children’s jackets and 35 pairs of men’s shoes to aid villagers and their families.

A small medical clinic also was established to provide medical treatment for villagers.

“The Afghan people saw firsthand today that the [Afghan] and coalition forces truly do all they can to help make Afghan lives a little easier,” a coalition spokesman said. “We will continue to aid Afghans in their efforts to improve their quality of life and to rebuild their nation.”

In other news, residents of the Shindand district of western Afghanistan’s Heart province took advantage of the coalition’s Small Rewards Program by turning in two large caches of munitions to coalition and Afghan forces Jan. 28 and 29.

Villagers turned in more than 300 pieces of munitions they had removed from a large cache on Jan. 28, including rocket-propelled grenade rounds, artillery shells and nearly 200 hand grenades.

The next day, villagers delivered nearly 100 artillery shells from a different cache.

The program compensates Afghans for their efforts to rid Afghanistan of weapons used by insurgents and foreign fighters.

“These citizens have taken an active role in improving the security and stability within their villages by facilitating the recovery of munitions caches,” Army Lt. Col. Fred Helmer, a U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said. “This is a clear message that Afghans are committed to thwarting insurgent activity in this country.”

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